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Real-time Maine daily coronavirus, COVID-19 updates: Sunday, May 17

Find developments on the Maine coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak as we work together to separate facts from fear. Sunday, May 17, 2020

MAINE, USA — EVERY NUMBER IS A LIFE: Celebrating the life of loved ones during the faceless anonymity of Maine coronavirus COVID-19 fatalities. 



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The Maine CDC announced no new deaths of people who tested positive for COVID-19, meaning the state death toll remains at 70.

Of the now 1,687 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Maine, 1,511 are confirmed by test and 176 are probable (meaning someone who has been in close contact with a person who has tested positive).

216 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point during their COVID-19 illness. There are currently 37 Mainers who are hospitalized due to COVID-19, 16 of whom are being treated in intensive care and 11 of whom are on ventilators.

Credit: NCM

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Maine CDC announced Saturday one additional Mainer has died with COVID-19. The new death reported today is a man in his 90s from Cumberland County.

  • Total cases = 1,648
  • Confirmed cases = 1,477
  • Probable cases = 171
  • Cumulative hospitalizations = 214
  • Recovered = 1,012
  • Deaths = 70
  • Total currently hospitalized = 37
  • In critical care = 19
  • On a ventilator = 10
  • Available critical care = 174
  • Total critical care beds = 360
  • Available ventilators = 250
  • Total ventilators = 311
  • Alternative ventilators = 426

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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. 

NEWS CENTER Maine YouTube Coronavirus Playlist

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