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Real-time Maine coronavirus updates: Sunday, August 23

Find developments on the Maine coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak as we work together to separate facts from fear. Sunday, August 23, 2020.

MAINE, USA — KEY MAINE CORONAVIRUS FACTS

SUNDAY, AUGUST 23

Maine CDC is reporting one additional death of a person as a result of COVID-19. The state's total death count is now 131. 

This death was a woman in her 80s from Penobscot County.

3,890 of these cases are confirmed by test and 445 are probable.

408 Mainers have been hospitalized, 3,734 Mainers have recovered.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 22

Maine CDC reported one additional death of a person with COVID-19, bringing the state death total to 130.

According to Maine CDC, the additional death announced Saturday was a man in her 70s from Cumberland County.

Of the 4,317 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 3,872 are confirmed by test, and 445 are probable.

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

3,718 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 21

Maine CDC reported one additional death of a person with COVID-19, bringing the state death total to 129.

According to Maine CDC, the additional death announced Friday was a woman in her 70s from Androscoggin County.

Of the 4,285 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 3,847 are confirmed by test and 438 are probable.

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

3,698 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 20

2 p.m.

Maine CDC reported one additional death of a person with COVID-19, bringing the state death total to 128.

The death announced Thursday was a woman in her 80s from York County.

Of the 4,253 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 3,812 are confirmed by test and 441 are probable.

405 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point during their COVID-19 illness. Seven people in Maine are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19.

3,679 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.

Maine's 7-day positivity rate is 0.78 percent.

Millinocket Outbreak Update

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah reported Thursday that Maine CDC has issued an imminent health hazard citation to the Big Moose Inn in Millinocket. The citation notes that the inn exceeded the indoor gathering limit of 50 individuals when it hosted a wedding reception on Friday, August 7.

Maine CDC is now reporting 32 cases associated with the wedding reception. Of those cases, 26 are confirmed and six are probable.

The outbreak was announced by Maine CDC on Monday, August 17.

Maine CDC's investigation has revealed that the wedding ceremony was held at the Tri-Town Baptist Church in East Millinocket. The reception was held at Big Moose Inn. Both gatherings were held on Friday, August 7.

Preliminary interviews suggest there were about 65 people at the wedding and the indoor reception, according to Dr. Shah. 

Dr. Shah said the median age of those who have tested positive is 42 years old, with a range spanning age 4 to age 78. Seven cases right now are among children under the age of 18. 

About 87% of those who have tested positive have been symptomatic. Dr. Shah said it's not uncommon for a high percentage of positive tests to be symptomatic early in an outbreak, because they typically discover those who are positive but asymptomatic later in the investigation.

Five of the cases thus far reside in Somerset County and the rest reside in Penobscot County, according to Dr. Shah. 

One guest reported experiencing symptoms the day after the wedding. However, most of the guests who have tested positive and reported symptoms said they experienced them about four days after the wedding.

New Outbreak at York County Sheriff's Office

Maine CDC was notified of four cases among employees at the York County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, and subsequently opened an outbreak investigation at the sheriff's department and jail.

Maine CDC is working to provide testing and PPE to inmates and employees at both facilities, as well as working to figure out where COVID-19 may have been introduced to those who tested positive.

Mills launches $200M grant program to support Maine small businesses

On Thursday Gov. Janet Mills announced the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program to support Maine businesses and nonprofits as they continue to grapple with economic hardships caused by COVID-19.

The program, backed by $200 million in Federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF), will provide financial relief for businesses and non-profit organizations that incurred business disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Mills administration says the grants are intended to help sustain the viability of Maine’s small businesses and nonprofits - not to replace lost profits - and will provide short-term relief to help stabilize Maine’s economy while still focusing on the state’s long-term goals described in the state’s 10-year strategic economic development plan. The program draws on a recommendation from the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee.

“Small businesses across Maine - the neighborhood corner store, the bed and breakfast, the independent bookstore - have faced unprecedented challenges caused by this pandemic, from the heartbreak of temporarily closing their doors to the herculean task of reopening in new and innovative ways. Many have risen to the task, but with the global economy still reeling from the virus, and with people still wary of how and where to eat and shop, it is crucial that we provide what help we can to get businesses through,” Mills said in a statement. “My Administration will do all we can to support Maine’s small businesses through these difficult times. While we know these grants cannot wholly replace or repair the economic damage this pandemic has caused, our mission is to ensure that each dollar has at least a small, direct impact on supporting these businesses and Maine’s economy. We continue to hope that Congress will step up to provide greater relief to the people and State of Maine.”

Click HERE for more on the grant program.

Credit: NCM

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 19

Maine CDC reported zero additional deaths of people with COVID-19, meaning the state death total remains at 127.

Of the 4,234 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 3,799 are confirmed by test and 435 are probable.

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

 3,662 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.

Credit: NCM

CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY AND 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

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 COVID-19 Playlist


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