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Real-time Maine coronavirus updates: Sunday, October 4

Find developments on the Maine coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak as we work together to separate facts from fear. Sunday, October 4, 2020

MAINE, USA — KEY MAINE CORONAVIRUS FACTS

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4

Maine CDC reported zero additional deaths of people with COVID-19, meaning the state death total remains at 142.

Of the 5,519 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 4,944 are confirmed by test and 575 are probable.

454 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point during their COVID-19 illness.

 4,782 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.

Credit: NCM

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3

The Maine CDC reported an additional 18 cases of COVID-19 and no additional deaths. 

  • Total cases = 5,486
  • Confirmed cases = 4,920
  • Probable cases = 566
  • Cumulative hospitalizations = 454
  • Recovered = 4,763
  • Deaths = 142

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2

On Friday, the Maine CDC reported 37 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 5,468. There were no additional deaths reported Friday. 

  • Total cases = 5,468
  • Confirmed cases = 4,900
  • Probable cases = 568
  • Cumulative hospitalizations = 452
  • Recovered = 4,740
  • Deaths = 142

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RELATED: All schools in RSU 12 move to remote learning due to COVID-19 case

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1

Maine CDC reported one additional death of a person with COVID-19, bringing the state death total to 142. The person who died was a man in his 50s from York County.

Of the 5,431 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 4,865 are confirmed by test and 566 are probable.

Of Maine's total cases, 1,062 have been among healthcare workers.

451 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point during their COVID-19 illness. 12 people in Maine are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, with two being treated in intensive care units and one on a ventilator.

4,704 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.

94 additional cases of COVID-19 have been logged in Maine within the past two days (Wednesday and Thursday), raising concerns by Maine CDC for a variety of reasons.

Maine has logged 488 new COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks, which is nine percent of all of Maine's cumulative cases.

The average age of people in Maine diagnosed with COVID-19 over the past two weeks is 40. In March, April, and May, however, the average age of Maine's COVID-19 patients was 51.

"What that means is that in recent weeks, younger individuals in Maine are being affected by COVID-19. That's concerning, partly because they are younger individuals but also because as we've seen from data from the U.S. CDC, increases of COVID-19 among younger individuals precede later increases of COVID-19 among older individuals," Dr. Shah said. "So the decrease in the average age of new cases in recent weeks is a concerning sign for us."

Dr. Shah also noted the geographic spread of COVID-19 as an area of concern. In the past two weeks, Maine has seen new cases in all 16 counties. However, as Dr. Shah noted, there are not open outbreaks in all 16 counties. 

Of the 488 new COVID-19 cases in Maine in the past two weeks, 412 are not associated with any known outbreaks. Only 76 are known to be associated with an outbreak.

"So what we are seeing is the continual spread of COVID-19, particularly in parts of the state where previously there had been fewer cases," Dr. Shah said.

Dr. Shah noted these numbers may change as Maine CDC progresses with its current outbreak investigations.

194 of the 488 cases are from York County — about 40 percent. Dr. Shah said York County accounts for about 15 percent of Maine's population but 40 percent of the state's new COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks. 

There are 17 open outbreak investigations in York County alone - more than half of all of Maine CDC's open outbreak investigations.

Dr. Shah said in the past two weeks Maine has had:

  • Eight new cases in Lincoln County
  • Five new cases in Penobscot County
  • Two new cases in Somerset County
  • Two new cases in Waldo County
  • Two new cases in Aroostook County
  • One new case in Hancock County
  • One new case in Piscataquis County
  • One new case in Washington County

Dr. Shah also noted that Maine CDC is beginning to see an uptick in cases in Hancock, Piscataquis, and Washington Counties.

Dr. Shah did note expanded testing in Maine as at least a partial reason for the uptick in cases. However, he said that doesn't diminish the concern.

"Although this case rise is concerning, it's also one that we planned would occur as we set ourselves forth in undertaking expanded testing. But that doesn't reduce the risk," Dr. Shah said. "The concern here, overall, is that even though we anticipated finding new cases because we set out to look for them, what this tells us is what we expected all along, which is that the virus is in every part of the state and that each and every one of us is potentially vulnerable to it."

Flu Season

Dr. Shah said he recently got his flu shot, reiterating the importance of doing so as winter arrives with COVID-19 still present in the state.

"This onset of winter raises two concerns from a public health perspective. The first is that we are going to be facing the onset not just of COVID-19 but also influenza on top of that," Dr. Shah said. "Both of those diseases on their own can be deadly, but the possibility that we could be grappling with both poses extra challenges - not just to healthcare providers but also to all of us."

The second concern Maine CDC has going into winter is that many of us will be going back indoors more.

"We will lose the protective effect of being outdoors," Dr. Shah said. "The UV light, the better ventilation, the natural spacing that can come with being outdoors."

Dr. Shah said moving more social events indoors will present a higher risk of both COVID-19 and the flu.

"You've got steps that you can take to keep you and your family safe," Dr. Shah said. "In addition to spacing out even when you're inside and wearing face coverings when you've got friends or family visiting indoors, you can also take your family to go get a flu shot. It's one of the safest ways to keep that bubble that we've all talked about as impenetrable as possible as we go into the winter months."

RELATED: 9 percent of Maine's COVID-19 cases have occurred in past 2 weeks, as CDC notes flu season concerns

Outbreak Updates

There are seven cases among people associated with Woodland Pulp in Baileyville. One of the people is from Maine, one is from Louisiana, and five are from New York.

There are a total of 18 cases among people associated with Sanford High School.

There are a total of eight cases associated with Massabesic Middle School. Maine CDC is working with the school to test all students and staff.

There are a total of 13 cases among people associated with Pinnacle Health and Rehab at Sanford. 

Credit: NCM

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30

Maine CDC did not report any additional deaths of people with COVID-19, meaning the state death total remains at 141.

Maine CDC reported 54 additional cases Wednesday. Of the now 5,391 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 4,824 are confirmed by test and 567 are probable.

449 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point during their COVID-19 illness.

4,678 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.

Credit: NCM


MONDAY AND TUESDAY UPDATES

THE DATA

RESOURCES

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) 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

NEWS CENTER Maine YouTube COVID-19 Playlist