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Real-time Maine coronavirus updates: Maine CDC investigating outbreak at Eldredge Lumber facility in York County

Find developments on the Maine coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak as we work together to separate facts from fear. Wednesday, June 3, 2020.



2 p.m.

The Maine CDC reported one additional death of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the state death total to 95.

The additional death announced Wednesday was a man in his 70s from Knox County. His death is the first death in that county.

Of the 2,418 COVID-19 cases in Maine, 2,152 are confirmed by test and 266 are probable (meaning someone who has not tested positive but has been in close contact with someone who has).

1,699 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.

285 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point during their COVID-19 illness. 40 people in Maine are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19, with 14 being treated in intensive care units and 10 on ventilators.

The Maine CDC is investigating an outbreak that could be associated with the Eldredge Lumber facility in York County. There have been a total of 13 people associated with the facility who have tested positive for COVID-19. Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said the Maine CDC is investigating the outbreak and has recommended universal testing for all who work at the facility.

There remains a total of seven cases at the Proctor and Gamble facility in Auburn. The Maine CDC continues its investigation at that facility.

In the past week in Maine, Dr. Shah said the volume of tests done in the state has jumped by about 20 percent.

There have been 9,090 PCR tests done in the past seven days. 3.5 percent of those tests were positive for COVID-19. Dr. Shah said this is a good sign.

36 orders of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be distributed to healthcare facilities across the state on Wednesday.



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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