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Real-time Maine coronavirus COVID-19 updates: 163 inmate and prison staff test results returned so far, all negative

Find developments on the Maine coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak as we work together to separate facts from fear. Thursday, May 21, 2020



2 p.m.

The Maine CDC announced no additional deaths of people who tested positive for COVID-19, meaning the state death total remains at 73.

Of the now 1,877 COVID-19 cases in Maine, 1,678 are confirmed by test and 199 are probable (meaning someone who has not tested positive but has been in close contact with someone who has).

1,145 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.

235 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point during their COVID-19 illness. 41 Mainers are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19, 21 of whom are being treated in intensive care and 12 of whom are on ventilators.

The number of cases at Seal Rock long-term care facility remains at 3 and the number of cases at Woodford Family Services in South Portland also remains at 3.

There are no new cases in connection with Bristol Seafood in Portland.

There are now a total of 26 cases in connection with a Cianbro Construction site in Augusta. 11 of those cases are among Maine residents, eight are among Rhode Island residents, one is a North Carolina resident, another is a Wisconsin resident, and five are New Hampshire residents. Maine CDC continues to investigate that outbreak.

About 200 people at the 100 State Street apartments were tested on Wednesday and the results are pending.

There are 21 cases at Clover Healthcare in Auburn. At the Springbrook Center, there are a total of 42 cases.

Since identifying one positive case in an inmate at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, the Maine Dept. of Corrections and the Maine CDC have tested about 750 individuals associated with Maine's prisons. So far, 163 (64 staff, 99 inmates) results have come back and all of them have been negative.

The Maine CDC received eight cases of remdesivir Wednesday night. That's enough for 40 doses. The next shipment likely will not arrive until early June.



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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