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Real-time coronavirus, COVID-19 updates: Tuesday, May 12

Find developments on the Maine coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak as we work together to separate facts from fear. Tuesday, May 12, 2020

MAINE, USA — EVERY NUMBER IS A LIFE: Celebrating the life of loved ones during the faceless anonymity of Maine coronavirus COVID fatalities. 

KEY MAINE CORONAVIRUS FACTS

TUESDAY MAY 12

The Maine CDC will hold its daily coronavirus briefing with Director Dr. Nirav Shah and DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew at 2 p.m. today. We will stream that live here, on-air, and on our Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages.

2 p.m.

Dr. Shah says there are currently 34 individuals who are in the hospital due to COVID-19, 17 of whom are in intensive care units, and eight are on ventilators. 

An additional 41 Mainers have recovered since Monday. 

There are no new outbreaks as of Tuesday. 

The State has received a shipment of 10 cases of the drug remdesivir. The drug has the potential to benefit patients with COVID-19, especially those who have severe cases. The 10 cases the Maine CDC received is enough to treat approximately 50 patients, Dr. Shah says. 

The shipment arrived around 11 a.m. and within an hour was shipped out for distribution to hospitals around the state. 

"As a result of this quick action, doctors in Maine hospitals today have a new tool in order to use, in order to treat patients, who are critically ill and suffering from the most severe symptoms of COVID-19," Dr. Shah said.

Dr. Shah said the Maine CDC reached an epidemiological milestone Monday at the Tall Pines outbreak in Waldo County. It's been 18 days since the last individual had an onset of symptoms and had a positive test—which is beyond the 16-day incubation period the Maine CDC uses. In addition to not having any new cases in 18 days, the last Tall Pines staff member has been released from isolation. Overall, 32 residents tested positive and 13 passed away; 11 staff members tested positive as well. 

"We hope these positive trends continue and that there are no new cases that are reported," Dr. Shah said, a while the Maine CDC continues its engagement with Tall Pines to for the possibility of new cases, "this epidemiological milestone suggests that coupled with quick action the best scientific public health advice available can help bring a difficult outbreak situation to one that can be resolved."

On Monday alone, Dr. Shah says 35 orders of PPP—comprised of over 20,000 pieces—were distributed to health care facilities across the state. About 60% of those orders went to congregate care facilities like nursing homes, and about one-third went to local fire, rescue, and EMS. There are 31 orders queued to be delivered across the state.

Maine Dept. of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew spoke about the campaign launched Tuesday by Gov. Janet Mills that seeks to remind people about affordable health care options. 

Visit www.coverme.gov to find out about health care available.

RELATED: Maine DHHS launches campaign to promote awareness of affordable health insurance options amid coronavirus, COVID-19

12 p.m.

The Maine CDC announced no new deaths Tuesday, which means the state death toll remains at 65.

There are now 1,477 COVID-19 cases in Maine, 1,338 of which are confirmed by test and 139 of which are probable.

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

Credit: NCM

Note: In addition to these cases, there are six with unknown counties.

11 a.m.

10 a.m.

9 a.m.

8 a.m.

MONDAY UPDATE

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. 

NEWS CENTER Maine YouTube Coronavirus Playlist