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Real-time Maine Coronavirus updates: Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah still concerned about congregant settings

At Cape Memory Care, 85 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported, including 61 residents and 24 staff members. Four people have died.



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Maine Center for Disease Control Director Dr. Nirav Shah confirmed Monday that he was told by Gov. Janet Mills' office that President Donald Trump intends to visit Maine. Shah said he had no additional information about the visit.

The Maine CDC reported 24 new cases of COVID-19 and 39 additional recoveries.

Of the now 2,349 COVID-19 cases in Maine, 2,093 are confirmed by test and 256 are probable (meaning someone who has not tested positive but has been in close contact with someone who has).

1,586 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.

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

At Cape Memory Care, 85 positive cases have been reported, including 61 residents and 24 staff members. Four people have died.

The Milestone Shelter has reported two residents and three staff who have tested positive -- the same number as the past week.

Dr. Nirav Shah reported on four new outbreaks, including one at the family homeless shelter in Portland, where there are 15 cases.

New outbreaks are also reported at the Birchwoods in Canco assisted living facility, where five staff members have tested positive; and the Murphy Home on Marshall Street, which has reported five positive tests.

Shah said universal testing is underway at the Proctor & Gamble facility and is expected to conclude Wednesday. Results of the initial batch are expected Tuesday.

Distributed 22,635 swabs and 20,229 vials of transport media to facilities across the state, and continues to receive shipments of both from federal government. They are sent out for delivery immediately.

The Maine CDC has now distributed 2,000 orders of PPE (personal protective equpiment) and shipped out 1,351,009 pieces of PPE to healthcare providers across the state, or about one piece of PPE for each person in the state.

The state is due to receive another shipment of rendecivir this week and will follow the same protocol to distribute it throughout the state.

Maine currently has 397 ICU (intensive care units) with 155 available, 317 conventional ventilators with 242 available, and 441 alternative ventilators, all available.

Fifty-two people in Maine remain hospitalized with COVID-19, with 17 in an ICU and 10 on ventilators.

Credit: NCM



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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