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Another three Mainers have died from the new coronavirus as health officials confirmed 28 more cases Friday.
There have now been 965 coronavirus cases confirmed in all of Maine’s counties, according to Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Nirav Shah. That’s up from 937 on Thursday.
The latest deaths involve a man in his 70s from Cumberland County, a woman in her 90s from Kennebec County and a man in his 60s York County, according to Shah. One of the deaths is affiliated with the Augusta Center for Health and Rehabilitation, the fourth death at the facility.
The statewide death toll now stands at 47.
Ten of the newly confirmed cases come from the Edgewood Rehabilitation & Living Center in Farmington, which has become the sixth long-term care facility in the state to experience an outbreak. Eight residents and five staffers have now tested positive for COVID-19, after 78 tests were conducted among individuals affiliated with the facility, Shah said.
So far, 152 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Of those, 39 people are currently hospitalized in the state, with 17 in critical care and seven on ventilators, according to the Maine CDC.
Two of the 965 cases are being labeled as “probable”, a new classification of coronavirus cases that the Maine CDC will be recording moving forward, Shah said. These probable cases are individuals who are very closely linked to a confirmed case, such as a spouse, and who develop symptoms.
“If that spouse — who lives with the confirmed case, spends a lot of time with the confirmed case — if after three to five to seven days were to start developing symptoms and go to the physician, and the doctor were to say ‘I’m not testing you because I believe you to have COVID-19,’ Maine CDC is now reporting and recording those cases as probable,” Shah said.
These “probable” individuals may later go on to get tested, in which case they would become confirmed cases if so indicated, Shah said.
Meanwhile, another 499 people have fully recovered from the coronavirus, meaning there are 419 active cases in the state. That’s up from 408 on Thursday.
A majority of the cases — 613 — have been in Mainers over age 50, while 333 have been in people between ages 20 and 49 and 19 under age 20. Cases are almost evenly split between women and men, according to the Maine CDC.
Another 16,784 people have tested negative for the coronavirus, according to the Maine CDC.
Watch the full Maine CDC press conference for April 24
Friday’s reports come on the heels of the deadliest day so far in Maine’s 6-week-old coronavirus outbreak, with five new deaths reported Thursday.
So far, the coronavirus has hit hardest in Cumberland County, where 426 cases have been confirmed and where the bulk of deaths from the virus — 24 — have been concentrated. It is one of four counties — the others are Androscoggin, Penobscot and York, with 38, 50 and 191 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 Aroostook (4), Franklin (26), Hancock (8), Kennebec (100), Knox (13), Lincoln (12), Oxford (14), Piscataquis (1), Sagadahoc (17), Somerset (16), Waldo (47) and Washington (2) counties.
As of Friday afternoon, the coronavirus has sickened 886,213 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 50,780 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
Watch: What Nirav Shah is most worried about