As of 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 14, three Maine residents have tested presumptive positive for the coronavirus, according to the state. Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support this mission by purchasing a digital subscription.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Another Mainer has tested positive for the new coronavirus, state health officials said on Saturday.
The state’s third presumptive positive case appeared in a woman in her 40s from Cumberland County.
She had close household contact with another person who also tested presumptive positive for the virus, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Two test results from a private lab also came back positive today, but have not been confirmed by the CDC. Those so-called “preliminary presumptive positive” cases came from a lab affiliated with MaineHealth. There are now three such cases in Maine, all of which are under review by the Maine CDC.
There are three types of test results, according to the Maine CDC. A preliminary presumptive positive case is the result of a test sample from a non-government lab. A presumptive positive case is a test from a state lab that needs to be confirmed by the U.S. CDC. A confirmed case is when the U.S. CDC validates the state lab’s test.
The new presumptive positive case follows two other presumptive positive tests for the virus announced Thursday in a Navy reservist in her 50s from Androscoggin County and Friday in a Portland municipal employee in his 50s whose result led to the closure of city buildings — including City Hall — for two weeks. Both are in self-isolation, as are another 30 people who contacted the Portland worker.
Another woman in her 20s being treated at Maine Medical Center in Portland tested positive for the virus in a private lab, but her result requires further analysis and was being treated as preliminary on Friday, said Nirav Shah, the director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Maine was one of the last U.S. states to record its first positive test for the new coronavirus, which can cause flu-like symptoms that sometimes progress to pneumonia. The U.S. has reported more than 1,600 cases of the virus as of Friday in 46 states and the District of Columbia and 41 deaths, according to the federal CDC.
The state’s population is among the most vulnerable in the U.S. to serious illness from the virus. Maine’s most vulnerable populations are older people and those with pre-existing health conditions that include hypertension, diabetes and asthma. The highest concentration of people vulnerable to serious illness if they contract the coronavirus are in rural areas of the state.
Maine colleges and universities — including the University of Maine System — have shifted to online classes as a result of the virus, while schools have begun to announce closures taking effect next week. The Legislature is expected to adjourn nearly a month early on Tuesday and Gov. Janet Mills has advised Mainers to stop holding gatherings of more than 250 people.
Watch: Symptoms of the coronavirus disease