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Real-time Maine coronavirus updates: Dr. Shah notes concerning trends, expresses confidence in Mainers

Find developments on the Maine coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak as we work together to separate facts from fear. Tuesday, October 27, 2020

MAINE, USA — KEY MAINE CORONAVIRUS FACTS

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27

Maine CDC did not report any additional deaths of people with COVID-19. The state death toll remains at 146.

Of the 6,311 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 5,593 of these cases are confirmed by test and 718 are probable.

479 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point during their COVID-19 illnesses.

5,399 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah noted the fact that Maine has seen an increase of 117 cases in just the past three days. He said he expects the number of new cases per day to continue at this rate and likely move even higher in the coming days.

"The spike that we have foreshadowed is happening and this is deeply concerning. The bottom line is that we are in it now. These numbers should hopefully put to rest any notion that it can't happen here, it can't happen in our state, it can't happen in our county, and it can't happen in your town," he said. "It can happen here because right now it is happening here. What's concerning is that the cases that we've seen recently are being driven not by large, focal outbreaks but by community, even household-level transmission in virtually every corner of the state."

Dr. Shah said Maine has been seeing new cases in almost every county almost every day.

"This is significant because from a disease-control perspective, it's much harder to tamp down on community transmission than it is an outbreak," he said. "The uninvited guest that we have discussed is not just in one nursing facility or in one hospital but it's now in multiple homes. Places that we previously looked to be safe havens."

Dr. Shah said the coming weeks will be a challenge. However, he expressed confidence in Maine's ability to rise to the occasion.

"Maine has risen to challenges repeatedly since March of 1820. Since then, we have adapted to worlds that have turned upside down multiple times. We've learned to work differently, learn differently, and now socialize differently," he said.

Dr. Shah acknowledged the fatigue many Mainers must be feeling, saying the trick isn't just to remember what we're doing but also why we're doing it and for whom we're doing it. He emphasized the continued importance of wearing masks and staying six feet apart, even while indoors.

"We have an opportunity in front of us in Maine, we've got to make sure we take that opportunity and not throw away our shot," he said.

New Outbreaks Under Investigation by Maine CDC

There are a total of four cases associated with the Second Baptist Church in Calais. Maine CDC is working with the church to determine whether there are other individuals who may have been exposed, as well as to arrange testing.

There are a total of three cases associated with Woodlands Memory Care of Rockland. It is not, at this time, thought to be connected to the outbreak at the Brooks Pentecostal Church in Waldo County. However, that is a question Maine CDC investigators are examining. Maine CDC strongly expects there will be additional cases in the coming days as the facility conducts and receives the results of its universal testing, which is currently underway.

"I will note that we are very concerned about this outbreak at this particular facility based on our experience working with another memory care facility earlier this summer," Dr. Shah said. "As we learned during that outbreak, this is a particularly vulnerable population and one in which we sadly expect there may be more cases as the testing process starts yielding results."

Credit: NCM

MONDAY, OCTOBER 26

Maine CDC did not report any additional deaths of people with COVID-19. The state death toll remains at 146.

Of the 6,254 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 5,551 of these cases are confirmed by test and 703 are probable.

477 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point during their COVID-19 illnesses.

5,363 Mainers have recovered from COVID-19.

RELATED: 60 coronavirus cases now associated with outbreak linked to Waldo County church

Credit: NCM

LAST WEEK'S UPDATES

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) is holding coronavirus briefings on Tuesdays and Thursdays with director Dr. Nirav Shah to keep the public up to date on the situation in Maine

NEWS CENTER Maine YouTube COVID-19 Playlist