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Maine coronavirus, COVID-19 updates: Tuesday, July 7

Find developments on the Maine coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak as we work together to separate facts from fear. Tuesday, July 7, 2020.
Credit: NCM

MAINE, USA — KEY MAINE CORONAVIRUS FACTS

Tuesday, July 7 Updates

10 a.m.

The Maine CDC reported one additional person, a man in his 90s from Cumberland County, has died with COVID-19, bringing the state total to 110.

  • Total cases: 3,440
  • Confirmed cases: 3,050
  • Probable cases: 390
  • Active cases: 514
  • Cumulative hospitalizations: 360
  • Recoveries: 2,816
  • Deaths: 110
  • Case rate (per 10,000 people): 25.7

MONDAY UPDATES

2 p.m.

Since the last Maine CDC briefing on Wednesday, four Mainers, all from Cumberland County, died with COVID-19, bringing the state total to 109: 

  • Woman in her 80s
  • Woman in her 90s
  • Man in his 80s
  • Woman in her 60s

An additional 15 people have recovered from COVID-19 since Sunday. 

Of the total 3,423 cases, 823 are among health care workers. 

Maine's 7-day weighed average positivity rate is 1.53%. The cumulative positivity rate for Maine is 3.6%, representing 109,000 polymerise chain reaction (PCR) tests that have been done across the state.

Maine testing volume currently sits at 152 tests per 100,000 individuals in Maine, based on the 7-day average. Dr. Shah says just in the past two weeks, that number has increased by 42%.

"These numbers are positive, and they suggest we are on the right path," Dr. Shah said. "But, I'd like to be very clear: they are not a cause for celebration."

The numbers reported are just a snapshot of transmissions that occurred two or three weeks ago across the state, Dr. Shah explained. 

"The numbers that I've just shared—the positivity rate, the new positive cases—could change for the worst, unfortunately, as had happened in a number of western and southern states across the country," Dr. Shah said. "While these numbers are encouraging, they are not an occasion to let our guard down. We are still in this."

Dr. Shah emphasized the importance of face coverings. He said aside from the scientific facts that support masks are an effective means of containing the spread of COVID-19, Dr. Shah said he wears a mask out of kindness, compassion, and community. 

"We are all in this together," Dr. Shah said, comparing wearing face masks to going the speed limit. "We don't want to put someone else at risk."

"A face covering is at minimum is what we owe to one another."

At the Sedgewood Commons facility in Falmouth, there are currently 45 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents and staff and six residents have died. Dr. Shah said what sets Sedgewoods Commons apart from other outbreaks is their continual rounds of complete testing of residents and staff. Dr. Shah said they were proactive and sought out cases rather than waiting for cases to be brought to their attention. 

11 a.m. 

  • Total cases: 3,423
  • Confirmed cases: 3,034
  • Probable cases: 389
  • Active cases: 527
  • Cumulative hospitalizations: 359
  • Recoveries: 2,787
  • Deaths: 109
  • Case rate (per 10,000 people): 25.6

8 a.m.

WEEKEND UPDATE

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

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