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Six more Knox County cases as state numbers skyrocket, CDC reports Friday

By Stephen Betts | Oct 30, 2020
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah

Knox and Lincoln counties saw multiple new cases of COVID-19 while statewide numbers set another unenviable record with 103 new cases in the past day, the state reported Friday.

The number of active cases in Knox County rose by four for the second straight day, reaching a record high of 31, the state reported Friday. This is due to an additional six cases in the past 24 hours and two additional recoveries.

There have been 88 cases overall diagnosed in Knox County residents since the pandemic struck Maine in March. Fifty-six people recovered and one person died. Six of those people were hospitalized at some point since the outbreak began seven months ago.

Knox County has recorded 55 new cases since Sept. 15.

Much of the increase is due to an outbreak at the Woodlands Memory Care of Rockland which had 12 confirmed cases as of Wednesday.

But Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said Thursday that community transmission is behind the increases in nearly all counties of Maine.

He urged people to adhere to safety precautions such as wearing masks and keeping the appropriate physical distancing. He voiced concern Thursday about adults having Halloween gatherings inside this weekend which poses a risk of continued spread.

Woodlands in Rockland has 38 beds for residents. The virus has a higher fatality rate for older people. Dr. Shah said Wednesday that the investigation continues to determine if there is a link to any other outbreak but none has been found yet.

Based on the state's assessment, Somerset and Washington counties are now categorized as yellow for schools, joining Waldo County, which was designated yellow last week. All other counties remain green including Knox and Lincoln. The CDC reported Friday that there have been cases reported (fewer than five) at Camden Hills  Regional High School, Medomak Valley High School, and Medomak Middle School.

Statewide, 103 new cases were reported by the CDC Oct. 30 -- the most for a single day in Maine since the outbreak began more than seven months ago. This brings the total number of cases since the outbreak began to 6,570. There have been 506 new cases diagnosed in the past eight days.

Dr. Shah had warned that the current trend could lead to exponential growth in the virus throughout Maine without taking proper precautions.

There were 33 new recoveries statewide, the CDC reported Oct. 30, increasing the number to 5,495.

The number of Mainers who died from COVID-19 since the outbreak in March remains at 146 for the 13th consecutive day.

This means number of active confirmed or probable statewide cases of COVID-19 jumped by 70, reaching a new record high of 929, the state reported Oct. 30. A little more than three weeks ago, active cases statewide stood at 582.

Lincoln County's active cases increased by one, reaching 11, the CDC reported Oct. 30 due to three new cases and two recoveries. There have been 64 cases overall, 52 recoveries and one death. Five of those people were hospitalized.

Waldo County's active cases dropped by six, falling to 41 due to six more recoveries and no new cases the CDC reported Oct. 30.

Seventy-six new cases were diagnosed since Oct. 15. There have been 154 cases overall, 93 recoveries and 14 deaths since mid-March. Ten people have been hospitalized since the outbreak began.

The Maine CDC reported 60 cases were associated with the Brooks Pentecostal Church and its affiliated school, Lighthouse Christian Academy in Brooks.

Waldo County also had an outbreak early in the summer at a long-term care facility in Belfast.

Of the cases statewide as of Oct. 29, 1,154 were healthcare workers. This is an increase of 10 in one day.

There have been 314 out-of-state residents who have tested positive in Maine as of Oct. 28. Many of those are New Hampshire residents who get their medical care in Maine.

Since the outbreak began, 486 people were hospitalized in Maine. There are currently 16 people in the hospital, seven in critical care and two on a ventilator. That is a steep jump from the past week.

The CDC also updated Oct. 28, the number of cases per zip code. Locally, the most cases are Rockland with 14 cases. There are 11 each in Warren and Camden. Rockport has 10 cases. There have been eight cases in Union (including Appleton). And Cushing, Hope, Owls Head, Spruce Head, Thomaston, Vinalhaven, and Washington have each had one to five cases. Friendship, South Thomaston, Thomaston, Tenants Harbor (St. George), and North Haven have had no residents diagnosed with the new virus.

Of the 146 Maine people with COVID-19 who died, 77 were 80 years old or older, 45 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 20 deaths, Waldo County has 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. 28, the Maine CDC reports most were people in their 20s, who accounted for 1,064 of the confirmed cases since the outbreak started. There have been 1036 in their 50s, 978 in their 30s, 878 in their 40s, 831 who were younger than 20, 714 people in their 60s, 461 in their 70s and 424 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 6,570 cases statewide, 1,000 of the people diagnosed have been black. That translates to 15% of the cases. Black people account for less than 2% of Maine's population.

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Comments (3)
Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Oct 31, 2020 09:39

VOTE....VOTE for who ??    Laurel or Hardy, Abbott or Costello ? (Note: both are famous comedy teams from the 50's).  Spend even a little time in Washington or even Augusta and you eventually get swallowed up by the swamp and find yourself beholden to the donors that continually feed you.  As your income and influence grows you forget who you came to represent and become like Joe or Donald, Nancy or Mitch, Susan or Chellie.  You get my drift.  We need to throw them all out and start fresh.

Posted by: Crawford L Robinson | Oct 30, 2020 21:37

In my infinite wisdom I have one piece of advice: VOTE!!!!! Vote like your very life depends on it. Vote like the life of a loved one matters. I'll let you in on a secret. It isn't wisdom... it is COMMON SENSE. VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Oct 30, 2020 16:14

Am I proud of our Democratic leadership? You're darned right I am.  Walked uptown yesterday and about 75-25 masked. If I was a Trump supporter why would I be wearing one?

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