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Real time Maine Coronavirus Updates: 2,300 Mainers have survived COVID-19

Find developments on the Maine coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak as we work together to separate facts from fear. Thursday, June 18, 2020.

MAINE, USA — KEY MAINE CORONAVIRUS FACTS

THURSDAY, JUNE 18'

11:30 a.m.

The Maine CDC is reporting the following updates for Thursday:

  • Total cases= 2,878
  • Confirmed cases = 2,555
  • Probable cases = 323
  • Cumulative hospitalizations = 323
  • Recovered = 2,300
  • Deaths = 102

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17

2 p.m.

A man in his 70s from Cumberland County has died with COVID-19, marking the 102nd death in Maine. 

The longstanding outbreak at the Maine Veterans' Home in Scarborough has now been close, Dr. Shah says. The outbreak at the home was significant and involved 63 positive cases among staff and residents, and 14 individuals died with COVID-19. 

There is a "cluster" of cases at the Cape Seafood processing facility in Saco. Dr. Shah says the Maine CDC is aware of five cases among workers. Dr. Shah says, however, they believe the facility is not the site of transmission. The individuals who have tested positive happened to carpool together to work, and Dr. Shah says that appears to be the common factor they all share. There is no evidence at this time that there has been transmission within the Cape Seafood facility itself, though the investigation is ongoing. 

For these reasons, the Maine CDC is not labeling this an outbreak, but a cluster of cases.

There are four outbreaks currently across the country Dr. Shah is highlighting today. 

  • Springfield, Missouri: Two hairdressers were both found to be COVID-19 positive and who directly exposed approximately 140 people, plus an estimated 200-300 who had been inside the salon itself. Dr. Shah says they were all wearing face coverings, though, and as a result, health authorities in Missouri haven't found a single case associated with those to stylists. "This again demonstrates the value of face coverings," Dr. Shah said.
  • Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri: Memorial Day Weekend parties at a water park went viral showing large crowds gathered in pools. So far, five cases are directly linked to the activities at the water park that weekend.
  • Bar in Jacksonville, Fla.: Sixteen customers and seven staff members appear to have been infected at a bar in Jacksonville, Fla. on a single night on June 6. No staff or patrons wore face coverings.
  • Boise, Idaho: Similar to the outbreak in Jacksonville, health officials are investigating a cluster of 34 cases in a series of bars in downtown Boise. 

Dr. Shah says the bar-related outbreaks show just how opportunistic the coronavirus can be over the course of just a few hours. Dr. Shah said bars raise significant concerns over two main factors of transmission: duration and density of exposure. They are often crowded, enclosed in tight spaces, and it's often hard to social distance. 

Dr. Shah says newly discovered factors appear to contribute to high degrees of transmission in bars: people often speak loudly, and because people are drinking they are less likely to wear face coverings.

These factors are prompting health officials not only in Maine but across the country, including Massachusetts and Vermont, to reevaluate the timeline for when bars can safely reopen. Currently, they are slated to reopen on July 1. 

"As always, we let the data, not the date, drive what we feel is best in order to protect public health and we will do so here in connection with bars."

An additional five cases of the drug remdesivir were received on Tuesday and are currently being allocated across the state.

12 p.m.

The Maine CDC is reporting 17 additional cases and one new death for Wednesday. 

  • Total cases= 2,836
  • Confirmed cases = 2,509
  • Probable cases = 327
  • Cumulative hospitalizations = 323
  • Recovered = 2,275
  • Deaths = 102

8 AM

TUESDAY UPDATES

THE DATA

Dr. Nirav Shah made clear that when the Maine CDC reports deaths, they are reporting that someone has died who had been confirmed positive with COVID-19, not the cause of death specifically. The cause of death determination is left to the medical examiner.  

According to Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah, as of a few days ago, there were roughly 2,900 Mainers tested each week. This includes people tested through the state lab in Augusta, as well as large commercial testing companies like LabCorp. Dr. Shah said right now, the positivity rate is over 5%, meaning for every 100 people tested, about 5 or 6 are positive. Compared to other states, whose positivity rates are 10 or 15%, Maine is doing better, Dr. Shah says. He says he'd like to see Maine's positivity rate around 2%, which is what South Korea's is. To do that, Dr. Shah says testing must increase two or three-fold.

RESOURCES

MAINE CDC BRIEFINGS

Coronavirus, COVID-19 Background 

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) announced on Tuesday, March 10 that they would be holding daily coronavirus briefings with director Dr. Nirav Shah to keep the public up to date on the situation in Maine.

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