AUGUSTA, Maine — With the number of coronavirus cases in Maine now reaching 155 and climbing, the Maine CDC said it's not surprising to confirm “community transmission” in York County. Community transmission basically means people in that area are passing the virus to others, rather than people only catching it on trips to other places.

The number of cases is 13 more than Wednesday and well over 100 more than a week ago. Dr. Nirav Shah said the virus is certain to continue spreading in other parts of Maine.

“We anticipate there will be more counties in the near future, so if individuals are coming here thinking they escape coronavirus, sadly the virus is here."

He said the CDC and private laboratories continue to work to cut down the backlog of unprocessed tests. That backlog, he said, caused by a shortage of the chemicals needed to do the tests. Just one of many surprises in fighting the virus.

“A month, six weeks ago, if you’d asked me if we would be in position for mandated closure of businesses if we would have been canceling medical procedures… utterly inconceivable a month ago and now seem blindingly obvious,” Dr. Shah said. 

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And while some people are calling for tougher restrictions on business and residents, as have been ordered in New Hampshire and Vermont, the CDC Director said the Mills Administration has struck the right balance.

“It's not as much about staying home, though there is value in staying home if you’re not feeling well,” said Shah. “The real value logic is that it's in those public-facing businesses where people continue to congregate, whether customers or employees. That’s the real essence the public health logic that underlies that and I think where we are is appropriate.”

On Thursday afternoon, the Governor announced a number of southern Maine parks and beaches will be closed, to prevent people from congregating there, as happened last weekend. As for more aggressive closures of “stay home” orders—which Gov. Mills has strongly recommended to resident- the Governor’s office says at this point there is no plan to order further restrictions

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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