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Midcoast cases spike, outbreak investigated at memory care facility

Statewide active cases continue to set record high
By Stephen Betts | Oct 27, 2020
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah

The state is investigating an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Woodlands Memory Care of Rockland, an outbreak that concerns the director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah announced Oct. 27 that three people were diagnosed with the virus. He said he expects, from experience with other such facilities, that more cases will be diagnosed in the coming days.

Woodlands in Rockland has 38 beds for residents. The virus has a higher fatality rate for older people.

He said the investigation on how the virus started in the facility is continuing, but there is no evidence yet that it originated with the outbreak that occurred the past month in Waldo County.

Two more cases of COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in the Midcoast, while eight more local people recovered in the past 24 hours, the state reported.

The spike in cases statewide continues, setting another record for active cases.

Statewide, 57 new cases were reported by the CDC Oct. 27. This brings the total number of cases since the outbreak began to 6,311. There have been 247 new cases diagnosed in the past five days.

There were 36 new recoveries statewide, the CDC reported Oct. 27, increasing the number to 5,399.

The number of Mainers who died from COVID-19 since the outbreak in March remains at 146 for the 10th consecutive day.

This means number of active confirmed or probable statewide cases of COVID-19 rose by 21, reaching a new record of 766, the state reported Oct. 27.

The number of active cases in Knox County rose by one, reaching 13, the state reported. This was due to an additional cases reported of a Knox County resident.

There have been 67 cases overall diagnosed in Knox County residents since the pandemic struck Maine in March. Fifty-three 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 34 new cases since Sept. 15. That includes six at the Lonza Rockland plant on Thomaston Street. The Maine Department of Corrections also reported a staff member tested positive earlier this week at the Maine State Prison in Warren.

Also Oct. 8, RSU 40 confirmed two individuals associated with Warren Community School tested positive for COVID-19. A person associated with Medomak Valley High School was also diagnosed over the weekend.

The CDC regularly updates the number of cases by the zip code of the people diagnosed. The latest figures are through Oct. 18.

Warren has had the most cases at 10, according to the CDC.

Camden, Rockland and Union each have nine of their residents diagnosed with the new virus.

Eight Rockport residents were diagnosed with the virus.

For smaller communities, the state gives a range of cases. Cushing, Hope, Owls Head, Spruce Head, Thomaston and Vinalhaven each had one to five of their residents diagnosed with COVID-19.

The communities yet to have any of their residents diagnosed are North Haven, South Thomaston and Tenants Harbor.

Lincoln County's active cases dropped to nine, the CDC reported Oct. 27. This was due to four additional recoveries. There have been 60 cases overall, 50 recoveries and one death. Five of those were hospitalized.

Waldo County's active cases decreased by three the CDC reported Oct. 27. This was due to one new case diagnosed and four recoveries.

Sixty-six new cases were diagnosed since Oct. 15. There have been 149 cases overall, 87 recoveries and 14 deaths since mid-March. Ten people were 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.

CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said the outbreak is evolving quickly and are tied to individual cases at three Waldo County schools and one long-term nursing care facility. There are no outbreaks detected yet outside the church and Christian academy. Three of those people were hospitalized.

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

The CDC reported as of Oct. 19,  there have been 298 positive tests of out-of-staters diagnosed in Maine, out of 12,496 tests given. This is not broken down by the county of where they were.

Of the cases statewide as of Oct. 27, 1,136 were healthcare workers.

Since the outbreak began, 479 people were hospitalized in Maine. There are currently 12 people in the hospital, seven in critical care and none on a ventilator. That is a steep jump from the past week.

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. 27, the Maine CDC reports most were people in their 20s, who accounted for 1,049 of the confirmed cases since the outbreak started. There have been 1024 in their 50s, 967 in their 30s, 872 in their 40s, 819 who were younger than 20, 708 people in their 60s, 454 in their 70s and 418 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 6,311 cases statewide, 995 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 (4)
Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Oct 28, 2020 05:38

Really pretty simple isn't it?


Of course this means you need to have mutual respect for yourself and others. ;)

Posted by: George Stephen Pass | Oct 27, 2020 20:02

So is it a rumor or have 2 employees at 2 restaurants in Rocklsnd tested positive for Covid?

Posted by: Timothy Andersen | Oct 27, 2020 17:24

Still seeing way too many folks not masking up.

Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Oct 27, 2020 16:34

Donald been in the area lately.

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