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More cases of COVID-19, including nursing homes

The newest numbers show continuing growth of cases and sadly, more deaths now totaling 24.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine CDC reports an increase of 36 more cases of the COVID-19 virus since Tuesday, a total of 770 confirmed cases. 

CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah also said another elderly housing facility has become the focus of concern because of multiple cases. He said The Cedars in Portland has five cases of the virus.

The newest numbers show continuing growth of cases and sadly, more deaths now totaling 24.

But the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 is rising more slowly 126 total and as of Thursday just 48 people statewide are in the hospital for the virus and more than 300 people have recovered from the coronavirus.

There is, however, continued concern over COVID 19 cases in three long term care facilities--Tall Pines in Belfast, Augusta Health and Rehabilitation and the Maine Veterans Home in Scarborough. In all three facilities, both residents and staff have tested positive for the virus, with the CDC saying controlling the outbreak in those facilities is of top importance right now.

And yesterday,” said Dr. Shah, “we were made aware of an outbreak at The Cedars facility in Portland where there are now five cases, three residents and two staff…Maine CDC, all of us, are keeping these cases top of mind right now and one of the ways we do that is looking for more cases.”

That search, he said, happens through testing everyone, patients and staff, as soon as they find an outbreak, currently defined as three cases. Dr. Shah said doing that is nearly guaranteed to turn up additional cases, which then increases the totals even more. But he says it’s a needed step to prevent others from getting the virus. 

He said the combined cases in those four long term care facilities represent 17 percent of all the COVID 19 cases in Maine so far.

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