The number of active confirmed cases of Mainers with COVID-19 declined on Monday as recoveries outpaced new cases.

But Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Nirav Shah, stressed at the Monday April 20 media briefing that precautions need to continue.

"We must continue physical distancing. We are still very much in the middle of things," Dr. Shah said.

He said across the world, there have been new spikes when restrictions are eased.

"The concern is that easing restrictions could result in a secondary bump," the CDC director said.

And he said that could disproportionately strike residents of long-term care facilities or health care workers.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday, April 20, that  there have been 875 confirmed cases statewide since the outbreak began last month. That is eight more than on Sunday. The number of patients who have recovered jumped 21 since Sunday, reaching 414 as of Monday.

There was an eighth death of a patient in Waldo County, bringing the statewide death toll from the new virus to 35. The  number of active cases in Waldo County was 30 as of Monday with 43 total cases since the outbreak began, five recoveries and the eight deaths.

This means the number of current active confirmed cases statewide on Monday were down to 426. This is the lowest number of active cases since April 14 when there were 422 cases.

There have been eight deaths in Waldo County during the past two weeks, concentrated at the Tall Pines long term care center in Belfast. Nearly all the deaths statewide have been of Mainers in their 70s and 80s.

The CDC director said Monday that 212 health care workers have tested positive for the new virus and 119 residents of long-term care residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19. That accounts for nearly 39 percent of all confirmed cases.

The active confirmed Knox County cases dropped to four with 12 cases since the outbreak began and eight recoveries.

Lincoln County's active confirmed cases were also four, 12 cases and eight recoveries.

The CDC lists the cases based on a person's permanent home residence not where they were diagnosed.

Two weeks ago, Maine CDC Director Dr. Shah reported 17 people from outside Maine but who were diagnosed with the new virus while in Maine. There are also 13 Maine residents who were diagnosed outside the state.

There are currently 39 people hospitalized in Maine with the virus. Of those, there are 16 in critical care beds and nine of those patients are on ventilators. These hospitalization numbers have declined over the past few days.

Dr. Shah has repeatedly recommended people to live their lives as though COVID-19 was in their community by adhering to physical distancing and washing hands.

The CDC said April 15 that 14,076 people have tested negative for the virus in Maine.

Cumberland County has the most cases of any county with 380  since the outbreak began. There are currently 162 active cases in Cumberland County virus. Sixteen of the deaths in Maine from the new virus have been Cumberland County residents.