MAINE, USA — The Maine CDC said Sunday the state now has seven confirmed cases and five presumptive positive tests for COVID-19.

Here is how the Maine CDC distinguishes the difference:

  • 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.

According to OceanView at Falmouth, a retirement community, two of the new presumptive positive cases are related residents who live at OceanView. They said one resident is under their doctor’s care at Maine Medical Center (noted below by the Maine CDC) and the other is recuperating at home.

The Maine CDC said the following about the new cases in a press release Sunday:

"The presumptive positive tests are for the following individuals:

  1. Maine CDC has received a presumptive positive test result for a person under the age of 18. The individual is a male who resides in Cumberland County and is isolated at home. This is the state’s first presumptive positive test result for a person under the age of 18.
  1. Maine CDC also received a presumptive positive test for a resident of Oceanview at Falmouth, a senior living community. The individual is a male in his 80s. Maine CDC staff immediately contacted the individual, the person’s medical provider, and the administration of the facility to investigate and mitigate potential exposures. He is hospitalized at Maine Medical Center. Staff, residents of the community, and their families are being notified. Maine CDC instructed the facility to begin symptom checks on all residents immediately as a precautionary measure. Maine CDC is releasing this more detailed identifying information about this presumptive positive test because it could involve potential community spread. Maine CDC will release more detailed identifying information when it can be part of a strategy to help reduce potential community spread.
  1. Maine CDC received presumptive positive test results for a woman in her 30s, a health care worker, who resides in Lincoln County. Her employer has been contacted and steps have been taken to reduce exposure to patients, staff, and other community members. She is isolated at home.
  1. Maine CDC today received a presumptive positive test for a woman in her 70s from Cumberland County. She is isolated at home.
  1. Maine CDC today received a presumptive positive test for a male in his 40s from Cumberland County. He is isolated at home.

Affected individuals have been notified. More information will be released when it becomes available. Samples from these five individuals and other presumptive positive tests continue to be sent to Maine CDC for review.

Additionally, U.S. CDC has updated its classification of test results. As of today, U.S. CDC no longer requires HETL to send samples from presumptive positive tests to the federal lab for confirmation. Moving forward, samples that test positive at HETL will be classified as confirmed cases. Cases previously classified as presumptive positive have now been reclassified as confirmed cases, based on the U.S. CDC’s confidence in Maine CDC’s testing protocols. Tests conducted at outside labs that were previously classified as preliminary presumptive positive will now be identified as presumptive positive tests as they await confirmation.

HETL is receiving samples and conducting testing for COVID-19 seven days a week.

Maine has seven confirmed cases and five presumptive positive tests at this time.

One case identified Friday as a preliminary presumptive positive has been reclassified as negative, based on Maine CDC’s review of a sample submitted by a lab affiliated with MaineHealth. Retesting yielded negative results, and U.S. CDC concurs with Maine CDC’s determination. This test result involved a woman in her 20s from York County, who was being cared for at Maine Medical Center in Portland."

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NEWS CENTER Maine learned the Cumberland County boy is a current student at Cape Elizabeth Middle School. NEWS CENTER Maine obtained a letter from the Cape Elizabeth School System that detailed what the school has learned from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Cape Superintendent Donna Wolfrom told parents the notice was sent out so everyone involved could be prepared.

"Staff and students may have been exposed to the virus and we are informing you out of an abundance of caution," Wolfrom said. "Please monitor yourself for signs and symptoms. Call a healthcare provider if you develop symptoms. It is important that you call a healthcare facility before you show up in person. Testing is not recommended if you do not have symptoms."

So, to summarize: In Maine there are seven confirmed cases, and five presumptive positive cases of COVID-19.

  • Female 50s, Androscoggin county
  • Male 50s, Cumberland
  • Woman 40s, Cumberland
  • Male 60s, Cumberland
  • Woman 20s, Cumberland
  • Male 20s, Cumberland
  • Male 80s, Cumberland
  • Female 70s, Cumberland
  • Male 70s, Cumberland
  • Female 30s, Lincoln
  • Male 40s, Cumberland
  • Teen boy, Cumberland

The Maine CDC's latest update comes on the same day Maine's two largest ski areas announced they will close early this year due to coronavirus fears. Sunday River and Sugarloaf both announced Sunday they would suspend ski operations until further notice.

Maine's Governor Janet Mills is taking action to help Maine small businesses and workers as fears and concerns grow during the coronavirus outbreak. 

In a release sent Sunday, Mills outlines steps she is taking to help Mainers out. She is requesting Federal funds for Maine Small Business as well as relaxing some red-tape during workers unemployment insurance process.

On Sunday, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu announced that all K-12 public schools in the state will move to remote learning immediately due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Schools will be closed Monday, March 16 to allow each school district to develop a plan to transition to remote instruction.

Sununu said each school district should begin remote instruction starting no later than Monday, March 23 and continuing through Friday, April 3. School districts will thus decide individually when to begin remote instruction between March 17 and March 23. Sununu said some districts are already prepared while others will need a few days to begin.

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 

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