AUGUSTA, Maine — Since Wednesday's coronavirus briefing, the Maine CDC has opened 20 new coronavirus outbreak investigations across the state, many of which stem from schools.
On Thursday, the Maine CDC opened 11 new outbreak investigations:
- The Becket House at Belgrade: 4 cases
- Calais Elementary School: 4 cases
- Caravel Middle School: 3 cases
- The Church of Faith in Skowhegan: 3 cases
- Eric L. Knowlton School in Berwick: 3 cases
- Hibbard Nursing Home in Dover-Foxcroft: 3 cases
- Lewiston Middle School: 3 cases
- Maine Dept. of Transportation, western region facility in Wilton: 3 cases
- Pinnacle Health Care in Canton: 5 cases
- The Rockland Marine Corporation: 6 cases
- York High School: 4 cases
On Friday, the Maine CDC has opened nine new outbreak investigations:
- Bath Iron Works: 10 cases
- Dielectric in Raymond: 4 cases
- Good to Grow Child Care in Elliot: 3 cases
- Southern Maine Health Care Goodall Hospital mental health unit construction site: 4 cases
- Greene Central School: 4 cases
- Marshwood High School in South Berwick: 3 cases
- Upper Kennebec High School: 8 cases
- Volunteers of America facility: 3 cases
- Windham High School: 3 cases
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah says the number of schools on the above lists "may be something that is disconcerting." However, he says the Maine CDC has "not seen significant or sustained transmission within schools, and that's a good thing."
But Shah says that may change as rates of community transmission increase.
Shah says the fact it has been limited to date, is not only just a good thing, it's also not an accident. He says it's a direct result of the work school administrators, staff, and teachers have undertaken and continue to undertake.
In addition to the outbreaks, there has been an additional 439 cases of COVID-19 and three additional deaths reported on Thursday and Friday. And the seven-day positivity rate in Maine now stands at 2.9 percent, up from 2.66 percent since Thursday.
Currently, there are 90 people hospitalized with COVID-19, more than there ever has been since the pandemic began.
"I know this may scare you—that is not my intention," Shah said Friday during the briefing. "I'm just laying it all out. I'm being transparent with you so you can appreciate the severity of what we are facing. We are at a critical turning point."
"Your actions matter. Perhaps more than you realize, and most certainly more than they ever have before."