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Real-time Maine coronavirus COVID-19 updates for Friday, May 29

Find developments on the Maine coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak as we work together to separate facts from fear. Friday, May 29, 2020



5 p.m.

2 p.m.

The Maine CDC reported the following updates for Friday:

  • Total cases = 2,226
  • Confirmed cases = 1,971
  • Probable cases = 255
  • Cumulative hospitalizations = 270
  • Recovered = 1,458
  • Deaths = 85

Each of the 7 MEMA employees who were tested for COVID-19 have tested negative. The Maine CDC is looking into why those individuals would all be displaying similar symptoms, but did note that they all spent time at the state emergency operations center. The Maine CDC is testing each of the seven people's nasal swab for other viruses.

Out of an abundance of caution, MEMA's operations center will remain closed. However it is still fully operational in a virtual manner. Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said operations have not been interrupted but will remain virtual.

The additional death announced Friday was a woman in her 80s from Cumberland County. 

The Maine CDC is reporting an outbreak at the Granite Bay Care facility in Saco, where three people have tested positive.

At the Proctor and Gamble manufacturing plant in Auburn, seven people have tested positive. The Maine CDC is investigating.

At Cape Memory Care in Cape Elizabeth, a total of 78 people associated with the facility have now tested positive. Four people associated with Cape Memory Care who have tested positive for COVID-19 have died.

Dr. Shah said his team at the Maine CDC is thinking not only about where we are now, but where we're headed. He said he's heard the term "unprecedented" used to describe this pandemic but he noted that after it's under control, it will become a precedent for the future. He noted the importance of jumping on top of future disease outbreaks early to avoid the spread.

Dr. Shah said the Maine CDC usually follows the guidance of the U.S. CDC, including when it comes to mask-wearing guidance.

Dr. Shah said the decision to slow the reopening of Cumberland County, York County, and Androscoggin County stemmed largely from an uptick of new cases in those counties. He again noted how contagious the virus is.

"The absence of evidence of cases in your county is not evidence of the absence of cases in your county," Dr. Shah said.

11 a.m.

10 a.m.

The Maine Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) Committee held a meeting at 10 a.m. on Friday to discuss and receive updates on matters related to its jurisdiction, as well as to discuss the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on essential government functions funded by public dollars.

8 a.m.



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.



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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