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Active COVID-19 cases fall to fewest in three months

By Stephen Betts | Jul 23, 2020
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah

The number of active statewide COVID-19 cases decreased slightly, the state reported Thursday.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported July 23 that the number of active confirmed or probable cases increased by 14 cases, reaching 3,737.

There were also an additional 23 recoveries statewide July 23, increasing that number to 3,239.

The number of deaths remained at 118 since the first death of a Maine resident was reported March 27.

This means the number of active confirmed or probable cases as of July 23 dropped by nine to 380. This is the fewest active cases since April 12. The peak was 714, reached on May 24.

The CDC reported that as of July 21, there have been 120 nonresidents who have tested positive for the disease in Maine. Cases are listed based on the town, county and state where the patient is a permanent resident. Those 120 cases are not included in the cases for Maine. Many of those cases are New Hampshire residents who receive their healthcare in Maine, according to the Maine CDC.

Knox County active cases remained at one on Thursday. Twenty-five Knox County residents have been diagnosed with the new virus since the outbreak began in mid-March. Twenty-three of those residents recovered and one person died since the outbreak began. Four Knox County residents have been hospitalized.

Waldo County again had no active confirmed cases as of Thursday. There have been 60 cases, 46 recoveries and 14 deaths since the outbreak began in mid-March. Three of those recoveries were reported Saturday. The cases and deaths were largely concentrated at the Tall Pines long term care center in Belfast.

Lincoln County's active cases remained at eight on Thursday. There have been 31 overall cases and 23 recoveries. Three people have been hospitalized. Lincoln County has reported five new cases in the past week.

Of the cases statewide as of July 21, 861 have been healthcare workers.

Since the outbreak began, 378 people have been hospitalized in Maine. There are currently 10 people in the hospital, eight in critical care, and four on ventilators.

The number of tests given as of July 23 was 153,125 with 5,005 of those tests (3.3 percent) being positive.

Of the 118 Maine people with COVID-19 who died, 62 were 80 years old or older, 36 were in their 70s, 11 were in their 60s, four 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 68 of the deaths being residents from there. Waldo County has 14 deaths, York 12, Kennebec 10, five in Penobscot, five in Androscoggin, and one each in Knox, Aroostook, Franklin and Hancock counties.

Of the people who tested positive as of July 23, the Maine CDC reports most were people in their 50s, which accounted for 610 of the confirmed cases since the outbreak started. There have been 600 in their 20s, 576 in their 30s, 570 in their 40s, 432 people in their 60s, 335 who were younger than 20, 315 who were 80 or older, and 299 in their 70s.

Women accounted for 52% of the confirmed cases and men 48%.

The CDC figures show a dramatic disparity based on race. Of the 3,737 cases statewide, 850 of the people diagnosed have been black. That translates to 23 percent of the cases. Blacks account for less than 2 percent of Maine's population.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Joseph Steinberger | Jul 23, 2020 16:52

Thank you Steve for keeping us up to date.

I have been stunned by your last paragraph, noting the huge disparity, more than ten to one, of blacks testing positive compared to the average. What is causing this? Is it primarily about the African immigrant population of Portland and Lewiston? Is it about living conditions, about culture, genetic vulnerability, differences in testing rates, or perhaps other factors? Does this disparity tell us something about what is going on nationally, with much higher infection rates in the south?

Do you or other readers have any ideas on this?

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