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Four more Mainers have died from the new coronavirus as health officials confirmed another 36 cases.
There are now 770 coronavirus cases spread across 15 of Maine’s counties, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday. That’s up from 734 on Tuesday.
Of those, 126 Mainers have been hospitalized with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, while another 305 people have fully recovered from it.
The latest deaths include a man in his 80s from Androscoggin County, a woman in her 70s from Cumberland County and two men in their 70s, both from Cumberland County, Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah said at a Wednesday press briefing.
The statewide death toll now stands at 24.
Currently, there are 22 confirmed cases in the intensive care unit, nine cases on ventilators and 26 cases in other hospital settings, according to the Maine CDC.
As of Wednesday, the number of negative test results stand at 14,076.
The number of confirmed cases at congregate living facilities in Maine continued to grow, Shah said at the press briefing, which was delayed due to the mill explosion in Jay earlier in the day.
There are now 25 cases at Tall Pines Retirement and Healthcare Community in Belfast, 69 cases at the Augusta Center for Health and Rehabilitation, 38 at the Maine Veterans’ Homes in Scarborough and five cases at The Cedars in Portland.
There have been two deaths each at Tall Pines, the Augusta rehab center and Maine Veterans’ Homes, Shah said.
There are now 166 health care workers who have tested positive with COVID-19.
Out of 314 ICU beds, 147 are available and out of 344 ventilators, 304 are available. There are 240 alternative ventilators available as well.
A majority of the cases have been in Mainers over age 50, while they are almost evenly split between women and men, according to the Maine CDC.
Wednesday’s increase comes a day after Democratic Gov. Janet Mills extended a civil state of emergency through May 15. That order, originally issued on March 15 in response to the coronavirus outbreak, gives the governor the authority to suspend the enforcement of laws, establish emergency reserves of certain products and access federal funding to mitigate the outbreak.
So far, the coronavirus has hit hardest in Cumberland County, where 339 cases have been confirmed and the bulk of the state’s deaths from the virus have been concentrated. It is one of only three counties — the others are Penobscot and York, with 36 and 156 cases, respectively — where “community transmission” has been confirmed, according to the Maine CDC.
There are two criteria for establishing community transmission: at least 10 confirmed cases and that at least 25 percent of those are not connected to either known cases or travel. That second condition has not yet been “satisfied” in other counties.
Other cases have been detected in Androscoggin (31), Aroostook (2), Franklin (9), Hancock (5), Kennebec (93), Knox (12), Lincoln (12), Oxford (13), Sagadahoc (15), Somerset (13), Waldo (30) and Washington (2) counties. Information about where another two cases were detected was not immediately available Wednesday morning.
The only county without a confirmed case is Piscataquis.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the coronavirus has sickened 634,975 people in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as caused 27,940 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
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