MAINE, USA — NEWS CENTER MAINE FULL LIST OF CLOSINGS

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.

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

Governor Janet Mills and the Maine CDC announced Maine's first presumptive positive case of coronavirus on Thursday, March 12. Click here for the history of the virus in Maine between Thursday, March 12 and Tuesday, March 17.

Here is how the Maine CDC distinguishes the difference between confirmed positive and presumptive positive:

  • Confirmed cases: This now includes cases formerly identified as presumptive positive. This classification applies to samples sent by a health provider directly to HETL that test positive and to samples from non-governmental labs for which HETL validates positive results. Maine has seven confirmed cases.
  • Presumptive positive tests: These are samples that test positive at non-governmental labs and are sent to HETL for validation. Maine has five presumptive positive tests at this time.

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Sunday, March 22

As of noon on Sunday, the Maine CDC says there are 89 confirmed positive cases in Maine. Here is the breakdown by county:

                            Confirmed        Recovered

Androscoggin            3                      1       

Aroostook                  0                      0     

Cumberland              53                     2

Franklin                     0                       0

Hancock                    0                       0

Kennebec                  4                       0

Knox                          0                       0

Lincoln                       4                       0

Oxford                        4                       0

Penobscot                  2                       0

Piscataquis                 0                       0

Sagadahoc                 3                       0 

Somerset                    0                       0

Waldo                         0                        0 

Washington                0                        0

York                            8                        0

Unknown                    8                        0

The Maine CDC will held a conference call with media on Sunday March 22.

"We do anticipate there being further cases of COVID-19 across the state, into new counties, as well as increasing rates in existing counties," Dr. Shah said on Sunday.

Dr. Shah also spoke about personal protective equipment (PPE) at length. He said on Monday the Maine CDC will be distributing about 22,000 pieces of equipment to healthcare employees across the state including about 2,400 N95 masks, more than 8,000 procedure masks, almost 2,000 face shields and about 6,000 gloves among other things. He said FEMA will be distributing additional protective equipment to the state of Maine soon.

While these distributions are coming, Dr. Shah adds that it's not enough and healthcare employees still need these things.

Dr. Shah also urged Mainers not to wait until COVID-19 is in their counties or communities, but to practice social distancing now.

Saturday, March 21

On its website, the Maine CDC announced 70 confirmed positive cases in the state.

                            Confirmed        Recovered

Androscoggin            3                      1       

Aroostook                  0                      0     

Cumberland              41                     2

Franklin                     0                       0

Hancock                    0                       0

Kennebec                  4                       0

Knox                          0                       0

Lincoln                       4                       

Oxford                        4                       0

Penobscot                  2                       0

Piscataquis                 0                       0

Sagadahoc                 1                       0 

Somerset                    0                       0

Waldo                         0                        0 

Washington                0                        0

York                            8                        0

Unknown                    3                        0

According to OceanView at Falmouth, 6 residents have now tested positive for COVID-19. The retirement community sent out the following press release Saturday:

"A sixth resident of OceanView at Falmouth has tested presumptive positive for COVID-19 and is being cared for at Maine Medical Center. This resident had not been connected to the initial cases at OceanView. However, per the CDC, due to statewide community spread it is no longer possible to definitively determine the source of exposure.

Accordingly, the CDC recommends that everyone observe physical distancing best practices, to self-quarantine if you believe you may have been exposed, and to contact your healthcare provider if you become symptomatic. We also continue to strongly urge all of our residents to shelter in place (as defined in the FAQ below) and adhere to personal hygiene best practices. We remain in regular contact with the CDC and with local public safety officials.

To recount, there are now six (6) OceanView residents who have tested presumptive positive for COVID-19. Of these, three (3) residents are receiving care at Maine Medical Center and three (3) are recuperating at their respective homes. Due to HIPAA regulations we are prohibited from providing any additional details."

There are 421 total residents on the OceanView campus, which includes 47 in assisted living and 24 in memory care. There are also about 200 staff members.

Friday, March 20

The Maine CDC announced 44 confirmed positive and 12 presumptive positive COVID-19 cases in the state.

However, Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said Friday there are eight new cases. So, how did we go from 52 cases to 56 cases but we have eight new cases?

Three cases were in out-of-state residents who are being treated in Maine. Those cases count in the person's state of residence, so that state health departments can accurately keep track of cases. So while those three people are being treated in Maine, they are counted in the test totals of their state of residence. Another case was the result of a clerical error where a person tested positive at an outside laboratory but showed up negative when tested by the Maine CDC.

Coronavirus Maine Map FRIDAY MARCH 20
NCM

                          Confirmed       Presumptive     Recovered

Androscoggin            2                      1                        1

Aroostook                  0                      0     

Cumberland              26                     9

Franklin                     0                       0

Hancock                    0                       0

Kennebec                  4                       0

Knox                          0                       0

Lincoln                       3                       1

Oxford                        1                       0

Penobscot                  2                       0

Piscataquis                 0                       0

Sagadahoc                 0                       0 

Somerset                    0                       0

Waldo                         0                        0 

Washington                0                        0

York                            4                        1

Unknown                    2                        0

Four people remain hospitalized in Maine due to the virus.

There have also been a total of 2,264 negative tests in the state.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah also noted the challenges everyone faces while practicing social distacing and thanked the public for their noticeable efforts in doing so.

Colby College announced a staff member of their Athletic Department has been confirmed to have COVID-19. 

The Portland Police Chief confirmed one of their veteran officers has COVID-19.

The Scarborough superintendent alerted the community that a person that visited Eight Corners School, for a short time, has tested positive for COVID-19. 

The Maine CDC is expected to give a daily press conference around noon. Check this article for updates. 

Thursday, March 19

Confirmed cases Thursday March 19
NCM

The Maine CDC announced 42 confirmed positive and 10 presumptive positive COVID-19 cases in the state:

                                  Confirmed       Presumptive     Recovered

Androscoggin            1                      2                        1

Aroostook                  0                      0     

Cumberland              21                     4

Franklin                     0                       0

Hancock                    1                       0

Kennebec                  3                       0

Knox                          0                       0

Lincoln                       3                       0

Oxford                        1                       0

Penobscot                  1                       0

Piscataquis                 0                       0

Sagadahoc                 0                       0 

Somerset                    0                       0

Waldo                         0                        0 

Washington                0                        0

York                            2                        1

Unknown                    9                        3

(Apart from daily updates from the Maine CDC, these numbers are subject to change as some cases end up being sent out of state due to the residency of the person in that case.)

There is now one case in Hancock County. There are also two additional cases at OceanView at Falmouth, an assisted living center in Cumberland County. That makes four total cases at OceanView, two of which are close household contacts. The Maine CDC is still looking into the situation there.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said one person has fully recovered in the hospital. That person is still included in the 52 people who have tested positive or presumptive positive in the state. Four people are currently hospitalized due to the virus. 

Dr. Shah reemphasized that young people are not immune to this virus. He quoted the band Coldplay in asking, "Are we part of the cure or are we part of the disease?" He asks young people to be part of the cure rather than contribute to the spread of the disease.

A Cumberland County Jail Community Corrections Center inmate who participates in the Work Release Program is being quarantined and waiting for COVID-19 testing results. 

For the time being the Community Corrections Center program is suspended.

The 41-year-old inmate, from Portland, lives at the Corrections Center and is being held on a Probation Hold for traffic offenses. The press release says he wasn't feeling well and had an elevated body temperature, so as a precautionary measure he was evaluated and tested for COVID-19, and it quarantined until the results are in. 

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Wednesday, March 18, at 12:50 p.m.

The Maine CDC announced 30 confirmed positive and 12 presumptive positive COVID-19 cases in the state.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said one person has fully recovered in the hospital. That person is still included in the 42 people who have tested positive or presumptive positive in the state. Four people are currently hospitalized due to the virus. 

Three cases were people in Maine who were residents of another state. Those cases were transferred to the person's state of residence. However, those people are being treated in Maine and tested positive in Maine.

Dr. Shah said there have been 1,670 negative tests in Maine. He said across the country, state CDCs have been in touch with the U.S. CDC about test supply as it is considered a concern.

Gov. Janet Mills also announced more aggressive action. All restaurants and bars in Maine must close to sit-in customers for a 14-day period starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 18 and going until midnight on March 31.

RELATED: Mills bans dine-in service at restaurants, bars and gatherings of 10 people or more statewide

“I do not take these steps lightly. Maine’s small businesses and their workers are the backbone of our economy, and I understand that these actions will not only impact them, they will also disrupt the lives of Maine people,” Gov. Mills said. “However, COVID-19 continues to spread across Maine and more aggressive action is required to mitigate that spread and to protect the health and welfare of Maine people. My Administration is committed to working with businesses whose operations are affected by COVID-19. I continue to strongly urge all Maine people to take seriously the threat of this virus and to practice social distancing. We all have a responsibility to do our part.”

Dr. Shah said hiring additional health workers has been difficult but, in the wake of the governor's mandate, he expects it will get easier.

Tuesday, March 17

The Maine CDC announced 23 confirmed positive and 9 presumptive positive COVID-19 cases in seven Maine counties:

Although community transmission is currently happening only in Cumberland County, the Maine CDC expects community transmission will occur in other areas at some point.

Here are the new positive or presumptive positive cases announced Tuesday:

  • Female in her 50s in Cumberland County
  • Female in her 50s in Oxford County
  • Male in his 50s in York County
  • Child under the age of 10 in Androscoggin County
  • Female in her 60s - No county provided
  • Female in her 50s - No county provided
  • Female in her 50s - No county provided
  • Female in her 60s in Cumberland County
  • Female in her 30s in Cumberland County
  • Female in her 40s in Cumberland County
  • Male in 60s - No county provided
  • Female in her 60s - No county provided
  • Male in his 40s - No county provided
  • Male in his 20s in Cumberland County
  • Female in her 30s in Kennebec County

These cases are now added to the following positive or presumptive positive tests in the state:

  • Female in her 50s in Androscoggin County
  • Male in his 50s in Cumberland County
  • Woman in her 40s in Cumberland County
  • Male in his 60s in Cumberland County
  • Woman in her 20s in Cumberland County
  • Male in his 20s in Cumberland County
  • Male in his 80s in Cumberland County
  • Female in her 70s in Cumberland County
  • Male in his 70s in Cumberland County
  • Female in her 30s in Lincoln County
  • Male in his 40s in Cumberland County
  • Teen boy in Cumberland County
  • Female in her 60s in Cumberland County
  • Female in her 80s in Cumberland County
  • Male in his 30s in Knox County
  • Male in his 70s in Cumberland County
  • Male in his 40s in Lincoln County

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Three of the 32 people are currently hospitalized. The others are in isolation. According to Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah, most states have been experiencing a 10-20% hospitalization rate, which means Maine's rate is just about in line with other states.

There now two child cases in Maine. Concerning the case of a child under 10 that was announced Tuesday, Dr. Shah said that child does not attend a daycare. The other child is a student at Cape Elizabeth Middle School.

RELATED: Cape Elizabeth Middle School student making good progress in recovery at home, according to school officials

When asked how the current cases in Maine are progressing, Dr. Shah said the Maine CDC must first let the 14-day period of isolation pass. Because all Maine cases are still within the 14-day timeline, the Maine CDC cannot yet consider any of them recovered. To be considered recovered after the 14-day period, a person must not have a fever and must test negative for the virus.

Of the 23 positive cases in Maine, 2 of those people have had influenza occur at the same time. To prevent co-occurrence of influenza and coronavirus, Dr. Shah recommends washing your hands and keeping your hands below your shoulders.

Dr. Shah said compliance with the governor's recommendations, as well as those of health organizations, is the key to trying to flatten the curve. He encourages Mainers to wash their hands like they just sliced open a bag of jalapeno peppers and want to change their contact lenses.

Dr. Shah also noted that many of the cases have occurred in counties where big cities or towns have enacted bans on large gatherings.

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