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Real-time Maine coronavirus updates: CDC investigating outbreak at Marshwood Center in Lewiston

Find developments on the Maine coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak as we work together to separate facts from fear. Thursday, July 23, 2020



The Maine CDC reported zero additional deaths of people who tested positive for COVID-19, meaning the state death total remains at 118.

Of the 3,737 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 3,334 are confirmed by test and 403 are probable.

378 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point during their COVID-19 illness. 12 people in Maine are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19, with eight being treated in intensive care units and three on ventilators.

Maine's current hospitalization rate is 1 per every 100,000 individuals. According to Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah, the national hospitalization rate is 17 per every 100,000 people.

3,239 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.

Dr. Shah emphasized the collaboration it will take between the CDC, the Maine CDC, the Maine Department of Education, and individual schools in creating plans for returning to school and learning. He said they are relying on school officials' creativity to come up with ideas and, in turn, the Maine CDC will work with them to make sure their ideas are in line with the best scientific practices.

Dr. Shah said the effects of the pandemic on opioid and drug abuse in the state has yet to be fully realized. However, he emphasized that isolation takes a toll on those who are struggling and encouraged all Mainers to help others and get help if they need it.

"Please know that none of us is alone and none of us is an island," Dr. Shah said.

The number for the Maine Crisis Hotline is 888-568-1112.

Here is a list of resources from the state of Maine.

New Outbreak

On Thursday, the Maine CDC opened an investigation into an outbreak at Marshwood Center, which is an assisted living facility in Lewiston. Dr. Shah said there are a total of 11 confirmed COVID-19 cases at the facility - eight among residents and three among staff.

These cases are not included in Thursday's case numbers due to the outbreak being reported to Maine CDC not long before Dr. Shah's briefing. These 11 cases will be reflected in Friday's total.

Outbreak Updates

The American Roots manufacturing facility in Portland just finished its second round of universal testing among all employees and staff. Dr. Shah said they've received results for 90 of the 94 tests that were taken and of those 90, each one was negative.

There have been no new cases reported at the Walmart in Presque Isle since three cases among employees were reported on Tuesday. Dr. Shah is looking into whether the outbreak stemmed from contractors working in the area of the store.

Closed Outbreaks

Dr. Shah announced Thursday that the following outbreaks have been closed:

  • Bath Iron Works, where there had been three cases
  • Cape Seafood in Saco, where there had been ten cases
  • Falmouth by the Sea, where there had been a total of 75 cases

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Credit: NCM


The Maine CDC reported zero additional deaths of people who tested positive for COVID-19, meaning the state death total remains at 118.

The Maine CDC reported 21 additional confirmed cases Wednesday. However, the total case count remained the same: 3,723. So, why is this?

On Tuesday, Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said 19 positive cases stemming from a Maine summer camp, which were reported over the weekend, were determined to be negative upon a retest. Those tests are now considered negative, which is reflected in Wednesday's case totals. This, and other revisions that resulted from case investigations by the CDC, are the reason for no net gain in cases in Maine between Tuesday and Wednesday.

In other words, Maine CDC investigations into previously reported cases resulted in some being removed from cumulative case counts:

  • 4 confirmed cases found to be residents of other states
  • 24 probable cases (including 19 from the camp) were ruled to be “not a case”

This is why there is gain of 21 confirmed case (25 minus 4) but a net gain of zero total cases:

  • +21 confirmed cases
  • -21 probable

Of the 3,723 COVID-19 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 3,321 are confirmed by test and 402 are probable.

377 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point during their COVID-19 illness.

3,216 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.

As the Maine CDC investigations into cases reported July 21 continue, the number for that date in the “new daily cases” metric will likely change. Data posted by the Maine CDC on Thursday, July 23, will reflect any changes that result from investigations of those cases and any other previously reported cases for which new information becomes available.



Dr. Nirav Shah made clear that when the Maine CDC reports deaths, they are reporting that someone has died who had been confirmed positive with COVID-19, not the cause of death specifically. The cause of death determination is left to the medical examiner.   According to Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah, as of a few days ago, there were roughly 2,900 Mainers tested each week. This includes people tested through the state lab in Augusta, as well as large commercial testing companies like LabCorp. Dr. Shah said right now, the positivity rate is over 5%, meaning for every 100 people tested, about 5 or 6 are positive. Compared to other states, whose positivity rates are 10 or 15%, Maine is doing better, Dr. Shah says. He says he'd like to see Maine's positivity rate around 2%, which is what South Korea's is. To do that, Dr. Shah says testing must increase two or three-fold.


Coronavirus, COVID-19 Background 

The official name for the coronavirus is “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes is named “coronavirus disease 2019” or “COVID-19” for short. Coronavirus is a family of viruses, which can infect people and animals. The viruses can cause the common cold or more serious diseases like SARS, MERS, and COVID-19.

The CDC says symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and in some cases sore throat.

The CDC says there are simple steps to take to reduce the possible spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Stay home while you're sick and avoid close contact with others
  • The Maine Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced on Tuesday, March 10 that they would be holding daily coronavirus briefings with director Dr. Nirav Shah to keep the public up to date on the situation in Maine

NEWS CENTER Maine YouTube COVID-19 Playlist

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