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Waldo County suffers second death

Active confirmed COVID-19 cases increasing locally, statewide

Knox County active confirmed cases reach seven
By Stephen Betts | Apr 09, 2020
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah

Augusta — The number of active confirmed cases of people with COVID-19 has increased both statewide and in the Midcoast.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention website reported Thursday April 9 there were 560 confirmed cases since the outbreak began a little more than three weeks ago. The number of people who have recovered rose to 202.

The number of deaths statewide increased by two since Wednesday, reaching 16 since the outbreak began.

This means the number of active confirmed cases statewide is 342, up from 336 on Wednesday,

Waldo County experienced its second death in two days. The second death was a woman in her 90s.

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, said 10 residents of Tall Pines in Belfast have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as three staff members. He said the state is working with the facility and that is now one of the top priorities of the department.

The number of active diagnosed cases in Knox County increased to seven as of Thursday. There have been 10 people from Knox County diagnosed since the outbreak began and three have recovered. One of those patients required hospitalization.

There have been many people reporting they have not been able to get tested, as testing has been limited, so the number of cases could be greater.

Dr. Shah also for the first time reported that 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.

The number of people hospitalized statewide at some point during the start of the outbreak is 105.

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.

And the CDC director said that the public has largely been adhering to physical distancing, citing a dramatic decline in traffic on highways. Traffic on the interstate has declined by more than 50 percent and on rural roads estimated at 30 percent, he said.

The CDC director said there is no backlog of tests at the CDC testing facility. The director said that emergency orders could be lifted and a resumption to relative normalcy will occur when there has been a prolonged period when there are no new cases.

The director said a decision on testing is up to individual physicians. He said there have been 11,608 people who have tested negative for the virus in Maine.

Lincoln County active confirmed cases remained at four on Thursday. Nine people have been confirmed with the virus and five have recovered.

Cumberland County accounts for the majority of the cases with 269 of which 105 are active. Eleven of the 16 of the fatalities statewide have occurred in Cumberland County.

Piscataquis County remains the only county without a confirmed case.

Gov. Mills has ordered people to remain at home other than specific exceptions such as traveling to essential jobs or for essential shopping or appointments. Lodging businesses were ordered to shut down as of April 5.

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