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Maine coronavirus update

Find developments on the Maine coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak as we work together to separate facts from fear. Tuesday, December 22, 2020


TUESDAY, December 22, 2020

The Maine CDC reported 10 additional deaths of individuals with COVID-19, bringing the state death toll to 303. 

548 additional cases of COVID-19 were reported Tuesday. 

The additional deaths reported Tuesday were:

  • A man in his 90s from Cumberland County
  • A woman in her 80s from Cumberland County
  • A woman in her 90s from Cumberland County
  • A man in his 50s from Cumberland County
  • A man in his 80s from Hancock County
  • A man in his 60s from Kennebec County
  • A woman in her 90s from Penobscot County
  • A woman in her 60s from Sagadahoc County
  • A woman in her 80s from Somerset County
  • A woman in her 80s from York County

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MONDAY, December 21, 2020

The Maine CDC reported one additional death of a Mainer with COVID-19. The state death toll stands at 293 deaths.

The Maine CDC reported 339 additional COVID-19 cases.

Of the 19,285 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 16,721 of these cases are confirmed by tests and 2,564 are probable. 10,837 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah is providing updates in the Monday briefing at 2 p.m. 

The additional death reported Monday was a woman in her 80s from Cumberland County. 

Overall, 980 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine, 309 of which were just in the past 30 days. Currently, 170 are in the hospital–44 are in the ICU, and 18 are on ventilators. 

Shah says the outbreaks the Maine CDC will be reporting are believed to have a higher degree of public significance, but there are a number of outbreaks that open and close every day. He says some days it's almost too numerous to count, let alone report on. So going forward, the Maine CDC will be providing a snapshot of outbreaks that are of public health significance during the briefings. 

In the past 24 hours, the Maine CDC has opened the following significant outbreak investigations:

  • Caribou Rehab: Five cases
  • Deering High School: Five case
  • Portland High School: Three cases

At Eastern Maine Medical Center (EMMC), where an outbreak investigation was opened last week, there are 48 cases of COVID-19—40 among staff and eight among patients. Shah says the Maine CDC has been working with EMMC to address the outbreak. 

Shah emphasized the investigation at EMMC is an epidemiological investigation, with the focus of understanding and getting the situation under control. 

Maine's seven-day PCR testing positivity rate is 4.35 percent with a testing volume of 526 per 100,000 people. The seven-day antigen testing positivity rate is 4.86 percent with a testing volume of 152 per 100,000 people. 

Cumulatively across the state, there are at least 4,682 individuals who have been vaccinated with their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Shah says that number is a little bit low because the administration of the vaccine is ongoing. In addition to that, Shah says they're aware that one institution has had a challenge with getting their data uploaded to the Maine CDC system. So the number of 4,682 is "undoubtedly an estimate." But for now, that's the firm number the Maine CDC can confirm at this point.

Today, the first shipment of the Moderna vaccine arrived in Maine. Overall this week, Shah says the state anticipates receiving 24,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine for use in health care settings and for first responders across the state. 

"Just today, the state started receiving the first shipments and we believe based on what we've been briefed by Operation Warp Speed, that the remaining shipments should be arriving at health care facilities by tomorrow," Shah explained.

The Maine CDC's partners in long term care facilities have shared the good news that the first individuals under the retail pharmacy partnership received their COVID-19 vaccines earlier Monday. The partnership entails the state committing a certain number of doses, working with pharmacies and long-term care facilities, to get vaccinators into those facilities to vaccinate both the residents and staff.

Shah says there were some reports of some adverse reactions to the vaccine across the country—six serious reactions among individuals who just received the vaccine. This includes individuals who had preexisting anaphylaxis—a preexisting type of allergy or sensitivity to the vaccine—and in whom the administration of the vaccine triggered things like difficulty breathing, hives, or other types of concerns. Shah says all six of those concerns were immediately recognized, immediately treated, no individuals were hospitalized, and all six were quickly and appropriately reported to the U.S. CDC. 

Shah says it's important to keep in mind that as of Monday morning, there have been roughly 550,000 first doses that have administered across the U.S. Of those 550,000 or so doses, we've seen six of these reactions. 

"All that being said, we know from the clinical trials of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine that non-serious reactions can and will happen," Shah said. "This includes having some soreness in your arm after you the shot. It may also include things like a fever, or fatigue. Those are to be distinguished from the serious reactions that I'm referring to, which involve serious, rapid allergic reactions to the vaccine."

Shah says the non-serious reactions are more likely and more likely after the second dose of the vaccine. 

Shah says a question he keeps hearing is "Do I still need to wear a mask after I get my COVID-19 vaccine?" Shah says the answer, based on what we know today, is "yes."

He says because although there are some early and encouraging data to suggest that the vaccine will limit your likelihood of transmitting or harboring the virus, more research is needed. 

"Until all the data are known, and whether the vaccine reduces the likelihood of harboring or spreading the virus, we still want to take all the steps to stay safe."

What about the second dose of the vaccine?

The Maine CDC's plan anticipates and assumes that there will be a second dose, which are being manufactured and held in reserve. They will be delivered in partnership and in conjunction with the respective first doses, at the appropriate time to match the administration of the first doses. 

If I've had COVID-19, do I need to get the vaccine?

Shah says the answer to this question, is "yes."

If you are among the close to 20,000 people in Maine who have already gotten COVID-19 and, sadly, the increasing numbers who will likely get COVID-19 in the future, Shah says getting the vaccine is "still a good idea." Although your body will have some degree of natural immunity after getting the virus, some early data indicates the immunity level you get from the vaccine may be higher or more robust than what your body's own immune system is able to generate. The vaccine may add an additional layer of protection against the virus. 

SUNDAY, December 20, 2020

The Maine CDC reported no additional deaths of Mainers with COVID-19. The state death toll stands at 292 deaths.

The Maine CDC reported 225 additional COVID-19 cases.

Of the 18,946 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 16,457 of these cases are confirmed by tests and 2,489 are probable. 10,794 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.

SATURDAY, December 19, 2020

The Maine CDC reported eleven additional deaths of people with COVID-19. The state death toll stands at 292 deaths.

The Maine CDC reported 402 additional COVID-19 cases.

Of the 18,739 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 16,266 of these cases are confirmed by tests and 2,473 are probable. 10,766 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.





The official name for the coronavirus is “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes is named “coronavirus disease 2019” or “COVID-19” for short. Coronavirus is a family of viruses, which can infect people and animals. The viruses can cause the common cold or more serious diseases like SARS, MERS, and COVID-19.

The CDC says symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and in some cases sore throat.

The CDC says there are simple steps to take to reduce the possible spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Stay home while you're sick and avoid close contact with others
  • The Maine Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is holding coronavirus briefings on Tuesdays and Thursdays with director Dr. Nirav Shah to keep the public up to date on the situation in Maine