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Real-time Maine coronavirus update: A Mainer in his 20s has died with COVID-19

The Maine CDC says the man in his 20s from Androscoggin County is the youngest Mainer to die with COVID-19 coronavirus

MAINE, USA — KEY MAINE CORONAVIRUS FACTS

SATURDAY, JULY 18

The Maine CDC released Saturday's coronavirus numbers 

  • CASES: 3,646
  • DEATHS: 117
  • RECOVERED: 3,136
  • PROBABLE: 394
  • HOSPITALIZATIONS: 375

10 AM

FRIDAY, JULY 17

The Maine CDC reported one additional death Friday of a person in Maine who tested positive for COVID-19, moving the state death total to 115.

The additional death announced Friday was a woman in her 80s from Penobscot County.

The Maine CDC reported 38 additional cases and 20 additional recoveries Friday.

Of the 3,636 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 3,239 are confirmed by test and 397 are probable.

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

 3,114 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.

Credit: NCM

THURSDAY, JULY 16

The Maine CDC reported zero additional deaths of people who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, meaning the state death total remains at 114.

Of Maine's 3,598 COVID-19 total cases, 3,207 are confirmed by test and 391 are probable.

374 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point during their COVID-19 illness. 13 people in Maine are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19. Of those 13, 11 are being treated in intensive care units and four are on ventilators.

3,094 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah commented to the new way certain COVID-19 data from hospitals is reported to the federal government. 

Previously, hospitals reported data through a portal via Maine CDC, which then reported the numbers to the federal government. A change enacted Wednesday makes it so that hospitals report certain data directly to the federal government.

"This is not all the data. Maine CDC continues to receive and report hospital resource information that are the most critical to our response," Dr. Shah said. "These are the same data that we have been updating since the earliest days of the pandemic, putting on our website, and for me to report to you each and every time I'm with you."

Dr. Shah said the Maine CDC is working with hospitals across the state to navigate these changes from the federal government. He said the Maine CDC has heard this change presents a challenge to hospitals. He said the Maine CDC's goal is to work with and support hospitals, who have been their allies since the start. 

"We are exploring how to reestablish the same reporting system that was previously in place, under which Maine hospitals would continue to report their data to us on a daily basis and thus we in turn, going back to the previous system, furnishing those data to the federal government," Dr. Shah said.

Dr. Shah said this change will not affect the way the Maine CDC responds to the COVID-19 outbreak across the state, nor will it affect the Maine CDC's commitment to complete transparency.

Dr. Shah said outdoor visitation seems to be significantly safer than indoor visitation for people visiting loved ones at assisted living facilities. He said it's hard to say when outsiders will be allowed into these facilities, as not allowing COVID-19 inside is the top priority.

Dr. Shah used wildfires as a metaphor Thursday to reiterate how important it is for Mainers to keep their foot on the gas when it comes to fighting COVID-19 and taking proper precautions. 

“What’s next for us is holding that line. Trying to make sure that the wildfires that are raging in other parts of the country don’t jump that line and find their way to Maine," Dr. Shah said. "We are not out of this yet. In the same way it would be crazy for a firefighting team to put out 90 percent of a fire and say ‘we’re done here, time to go home,’ we cannot let up on our efforts to keep control of COVID-19.”

New Outbreaks

The Maine CDC opened an outbreak investigation Thursday morning at the American Roots manufacturing facility in Portland. There are 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among employees at the facility. 

Dr. Shah emphasized that these numbers are not reflected in Thursday's numbers because they came in late. They will be reflected in Friday's numbers.

Dr. Shah said the Maine CDC has been working closely with American roots to conduct serial universal testing of all employees, as well as contact tracing. Dr. Shah praised the facility for being proactive and the Maine CDC is working closely with them throughout its investigation.

The Maine CDC opened an investigation Thursday morning into an outbreak at the Goodwill Buy the Pound Store & Recycling Center in Gorham. He said there are three confirmed cases at the facility. The facility has temporarily closed to allow for deep cleaning and the Maine CDC will continue to work with them.

Outbreak Updates

The Maine CDC recently recorded three cases among staff members at Corsetti's Restaurant in Westbrook. Dr. Shah said the restaurant has voluntarily closed for 14 days and the Maine CDC has recommended all employees be tested.

The outbreak investigation at the Cumberland County Jail continues. Dr. Shah said one of the elements of the investigation is conducting serial rounds of retesting. He said the Maine CDC will work with the jail to figure out infection control practices to keep COVID-19 out.

Credit: NCM

WEDNESDAY, JULY 15

The Maine CDC reported zero additional deaths of people who tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, meaning the state death total remains at 114.

Of Maine's 3,578 COVID-19 cases, 3,186 are confirmed by test and 392 are probable.

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

3,079 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.

Credit: NCM

TUESDAY, JULY 14

5:30 p.m.

2 p.m.

The Maine CDC reported zero additional deaths of people who tested positive for COVID-19, meaning the state death total remains at 114.

Of the 3,566 COVID-19 cases in Maine, 3,168 are confirmed by test and 398 are probable.

373 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point during their COVID-19 illness. 17 Mainers are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19.

3,062 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.

New Outbreak

The Maine CDC has identified three positive COVID-19 cases at the Cumberland County Jail. Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said he will provide updates as they receive the results of universal testing underway at the facility.

Outbreak Updates

There remain eight positive cases at Orono Commons. The facility is conducting another round of universal testing of all residents and staff.

At the Pratt and Whitney plant in North Berwick, there remains five positive cases.

Additional Test Collection Sites

RELATED: Maine COVID-19 testing expanded with free 'swab and send' testing sites

Governor Janet Mills' administration announced Tuesday that seven health care organizations will collectively launch 18 “swab and send” COVID-19 test collection sites that will send samples to the Maine State Lab for testing, strengthening access to safe and accessible testing for residents, tourists, seasonal workers, and other visitors to Maine.

Maine DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew emphasized the advantage that "swab and send" provide due to the fact that the sample never leaves the state of Maine, thus giving the state more control over keeping track of it and receiving prompt results.

The swab and send sites are or will be available in Bangor, Brewer, Old Town, Augusta, Portland, South Portland, Belfast, Ellsworth, Blue Hill, Dover-Foxcroft, Presque Isle, Calais, Greenville, Waterville, Pittsfield, Bar Harbor, and Fort Kent. Additional mobile sites will also launch within the next two weeks.

These 18 sites complement the roughly 40 current testing sites already available to the public. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) said it aims to further increase the number of testing sites outside of health care office settings and continues to accept applications for the swab and send effort.

More on this can be found HERE.

Update on Personal Protective Equipment

Dr. Shah said the Maine CDC is aware of the fact that smaller healthcare operations, such as smaller independent physician offices, across the state may still be in need of personal protective equipment (PPE).

"We've had a meeting with them not long ago to understand the nature of their needs were, what the volume might be," Dr. Shah said. "And now we're working to figure out collaboratively how we can move toward that. We certainly hear them and we're now trying to figure out where to go in terms of furnishing them PPE."

THE DATA


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.

RESOURCES

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

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