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Ten new cases in Midcoast, CDC reports on Friday

By Stephen Betts | Oct 16, 2020
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah

There were 10 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the three Midcoast counties, the state reported on Friday.

The number of active cases of COVID-19 across the state decline by one, the Maine Center for Disease Control reported Friday.

Statewide, 29 new cases were reported by the CDC on Oct. 16. This brings the total number of cases since the outbreak began to 5,865.

There were an additional 29 recoveries statewide, reported Oct. 16, increasing the number to 5,099.

Another York County resident died, the CDC reported on Friday. This was the second consecutive day of a death in York County. The number of Mainers with COVID-19 to die since the outbreak began in Maine in mid-March now stands at 145.

This means number of active confirmed or probable statewide cases of COVID-19 declined by one, falling to 621, the state reported Oct. 16.

The peak was 714, reached May 24.

The number of active cases in Knox County rose by one, reaching 12, the CDC reported Friday. There was another case diagnosed.

There have been 55 cases overall diagnosed in Knox County residents since the pandemic struck Maine in mid-March. Forty-two people have recovered and one person died. Five Knox County residents have been hospitalized due to the new virus.

Knox County has recorded 22 new cases since Sept. 15. On Thursday, Oct. 8 the CDC announced it began to look into an outbreak at the Lonza biotechnology plant in Rockland. CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said the department would look to see if one worker spread the virus to the others or if they each were exposed outside the facility. There were six cases reported at Lonza, according to the CDC.

Also Oct. 8, RSU 40 confirmed two individuals associated with Warren Community School tested positive for COVID-19.

Lincoln County active cases dropped by two, falling to five, the CDC reported Oct. 16. This was due to two cases being removed from Lincoln County. There have been 50 cases overall, 44 recoveries and one death. Five people have been hospitalized.

Waldo County's active cases jumped by 11, the CDC reported Oct. 16. There have been 95 cases overall, 61 recoveries and 14 deaths. Most of those cases occurred earlier in the summer at a long-term care facility.

The CDC issued a statement Friday in response to the newspaper's inquiry about the added cases.

"Case investigators working on those cases will explore links that could result in an outbreak investigation if epidemiological links between at least three cases are established. People in Waldo County – and everywhere else in Maine – can help limit potential spread of the virus by wearing face coverings in public, staying at least 6 feet apart, and avoiding non-essential gatherings," the CDC stated Oct. 16.

Late on Friday,  Regional School Unit 71, announced an individual at Capt. Albert Stevens School in Belfast had tested positive for the new virus.

Faculty and students who were in close contact with the person are being contacted and required to quarantine at home until Oct. 29. It is unclear if the infected person is a student or employee.

The CDC reported as of Oct. 7, there have been 286 positive tests of out-of-staters diagnosed in Maine, out of 11,180 tests given. This is not broken down by the county where they were diagnosed. Many of these positive tests are from New Hampshire residents who receive their medical care in Maine. The CDC said some of those positive tests are from the same non-Maine residents.

Of the cases statewide as of Oct. 15, 1,088 have been healthcare workers.

Since the outbreak began, 466 people have been hospitalized in Maine. There are currently 11 people in the hospital, five in critical care and one on a ventilator.

Of the 144 Maine people with COVID-19 who died, 77 were 80 years old or older, 43 were in their 70s, 14 were in their 60s, five in their 50s, three people in their 40s and one in their 30s and one in his 20s.

Cumberland County has seen the worst of the outbreak, with 70 of the deaths being residents from there. York County has had 19 deaths, Waldo County, 14 deaths, Kennebec 11, 10 in Androscoggin, eight in Somerset, six in Penobscot, two in Oxford County and one each in Knox, Lincoln, Aroostook, Franklin and Hancock counties.

Of the people who tested positive as of Oct. 15, the Maine CDC reports most were people in their 20s, who accounted for 961 of the confirmed cases since the outbreak started. There have been 946 in their 50s, 897 in their 30s, 818 in their 40s, 741 who were younger than 20, 675 people in their 60s, 421 in their 70s and 405 who were 80 or older.

Women account for 51% of the confirmed cases and men 49%.

The CDC figures show a dramatic disparity based on race. Of the 5,865 cases statewide, 991 of the people diagnosed have been black. That translates to 17% of the cases. Black people account for less than 2% of Maine's population.

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