PORTLAND, Maine — "We're all tired of this for sure but that fatigue, coupled with the notion that it can't happen to you, very quickly generates complacency," Dr. Nirav Shah, the director of the Maine CDC, said on Maine Public Radio and WGAN radio Monday morning, talking about the concerning COVID-19, coronavirus spike.
"What we're starting to see now, I fear is not outbreak driven growth, but community-driven growth, and that is a horse that is very difficult to put back in the barn."
He said of the 64 new COVID-19 cases reported just on Sunday, none were directly linked to a single source.
"They were not directly tied to the outbreak in Waldo County, they weren't remnants of outbreaks that were smoldering in York County, this was a statewide increase virtually every county in the state of Maine had an uptick in cases yesterday. That is concerning," Dr. Shah said.
Taking a closer look at the latest data from Maine's hospital systems on October 22, there were three COVID-19 patients at Southern Maine Health Care, none at Maine Medical Center, and none across all of the Northern Light Health's affiliated hospitals.
But, according to the Maine CDC, as of Monday there are 12 people hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide.
While the number of new hospitalizations per day has remained fairly flat, Dr. Shah expressed another concern.
"Our positivity rate has ticked upward somewhat significantly."
The positivity rate in Maine one week ago was .45 percent. Now, it's .65 percent, and that number is ticking up. However, Dr. Shah says it remains one of the lowest positivity rates in the country.