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Local COVID-19 cases show sharp jump, CDC reports Wednesday

By Stephen Betts | Oct 28, 2020
Maine Gov. Janet Mills during a special briefing Wednesday, Oct. 28 to discuss a sharp increase in cases.

Eleven more Knox County residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19 during the past day, the state reported on Wednesday.

The increase is due largely to an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Woodlands Memory Care of Rockland.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah announced Tuesday, Oct. 27 that three people were diagnosed with the virus. By Wednesday, Oct. 28. that number had increased to 12 -- ten residents and two staff members.

Dr. Shah and Maine Gov. Janet Mills held a special update Wednesday to voice concern about the sharp increase that the head of the CDC said was significant and concerning. Dr. Shah said that there have also been an increase in cases in schools.

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.

The number of active cases in Knox County increased by 10 to a record high 23, the state reported Wednesday. This is due to an additional 11 cases and one recovery in the past 24 hours.

There have been 78 cases overall diagnosed in Knox County residents since the pandemic struck Maine in March. Fifty-four 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 45 new cases since Sept. 15.

Statewide, 76 new cases were reported by the CDC Oct. 28 -- the second 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 6,387. There have been 323 new cases diagnosed in the past six days.

There have been eight new individual cases at schools across the state but no new outbreaks.

There were 42 new recoveries statewide, the CDC reported Oct. 28, increasing the number to 5,441.

The number of Mainers who died from COVID-19 since the outbreak in March remains at 146 for the 11th consecutive day.

This means number of active confirmed or probable statewide cases of COVID-19 jumped by 34 to reach 800, the state reported Oct. 28. Three weeks ago, active cases statewide stood at 582.

Lincoln County's active cases increased by one, reaching 10 due to an additional case, the CDC reported Oct. 28. There have been 61 cases overall, 50 recoveries and one death. Five of those people were hospitalized.

Waldo County's active cases decreased by three, falling to 45 due to an additional case and four more recoveries, the CDC reported Oct. 28.

Seventy-two new cases were diagnosed since Oct. 15. There have been 150 cases overall, 91 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. 28, 1,144 were healthcare workers. This is an increase of eight 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, 484 people were hospitalized in Maine. There are currently 16 people in the hospital, seven in critical care and none 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 6,387 cases statewide, 997 of the people diagnosed have been black. That translates to 16% of the cases. Black people account for less than 2% of Maine's population.

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Comments (2)
Posted by: Merton Sawyer | Oct 29, 2020 22:41

It's probably George Bush's fault....

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Oct 28, 2020 13:47

What do you, personally, think?  Has the Trumps' non-masking, non social distancing rallies in Maine hurt or helped the Republican party?   ;)

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