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New COVID-19 cases continue to outpace recoveries

By Stephen Betts | May 21, 2020
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah

The number of active cases of Mainers with COVID-19 on Thursday continued to outpace recoveries.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported May 21 there were an additional 58 confirmed or probable cases of the new virus, increasing the count since the outbreak began to 1,877.

There were an additional 35 recoveries statewide May 21, increasing that number to 1,145.

There were no addition deaths for the second straight day, leaving the number at 73 since the first death was reported March 27. Thirty-eight of those deaths have been Cumberland County residents.

This means the number of active confirmed or probable cases in Maine on Thursday set a new record at 659, an increase of 23 since Wednesday.

The CDC began ramping up this week the number of tests it could perform and an increase in cases was expected. The recoveries, however, have not kept up with the new cases.

Since the outbreak began, 235 people were hospitalized in Maine. As of May 21, 43 people were in a hospital with the virus, 24 of those patients were in a critical care unit, and 12 were on ventilators.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said May 21 that 432 of the confirmed cases of the new virus were contracted by health care workers. That represents an increase of 15 from Wednesday.

The number of active confirmed or probable Knox County cases of COVID-19 as of May 21 remained at three for the fifth consecutive day. Since the outbreak began, there have been 20 cases and 17 recoveries of Knox County residents. Two Knox County residents were hospitalized by the virus.

Waldo County's active cases May 21 increased by one to two, with 51 overall cases, 35 recoveries and 14 deaths. The cases and deaths were largely concentrated at the Tall Pines long term care center in Belfast.

Lincoln County's active cases on May 21 increased by one to six, with 18 cases and 12 recoveries.

There have been 55 people from outside Maine who have tested positive in a Maine laboratory, but 23 of those people are from New Hampshire and their tests were sent to a Maine lab.

The number of tests given have been 40,069 with 5.4 percent coming in as positive. Dr. Shah stressed that these were the number of tests not the number of people tested since some people were tested more than once.

Of the 73 Maine people with COVID-19 who have died, 38 have been 80 years old or older, 24, have been in their 70s, six were in their 60s, three in their 50s, and two people in their 40s.

Of the people who tested positive as of May 21, the Maine CDC reports most were people in their 50s, which accounted for 351 of the confirmed cases since the outbreak started. There have been 277 people in their 60s, 292 in their 40s, 200 in their 70s, 196 who were 80 or older, 253 in their 30s, 229 in their 20s, and 79 who were younger than 20. Much of the increases in the past week have been seen in people in their 30s and younger.

Fifty-two percent of the confirmed cases were women and 48% men.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: ananur forma | May 22, 2020 09:20

I don't understand when I go to the grocery store why most people wear mask (thank you!) and some do not. Why don't they wear masks? I just don't get it? Don't these good people understand there is a virus loose? I take care of an elder so I need to be super careful to wear a mask and stay clear of those without a mask, so I won't get sick. Please good people of Rockland - wear your mask, or get one. Someone please explain to me, why some do not wear masks???? Maybe they are not afraid of death or being sickly? I just don't  "get it."

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