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Another Mainer has died as health officials confirmed 39 new coronavirus cases in the state on Thursday.
There have now been 1,095 confirmed coronavirus cases across all of Maine’s counties, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from 1,056 on Wednesday.
The latest death involved a woman in her 50s from Cumberland County, bringing the statewide death toll to 53.
Nearly half of Thursday’s new confirmed cases — 19 — involved Penobscot County residents. That comes a day after revelations about an outbreak at the Hope House Health and Living Center in Bangor that infected 21 residents and staff at the homeless shelter. Two of those cases were detected late last week and a third earlier this week. By Wednesday afternoon, another 18 were confirmed positive, a spokesperson for the shelter, Dan Cashman, told the BDN. Of the 21 cases, 17 were guests and four were staff members, Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, said Thursday.
Of the outbreaks at congregate care facilities in the state, 76 cases are at the Augusta Center for Health and Rehabilitation; Edgewood Rehabilitation & Living Center is reporting 14 cases; Falmouth by the Sea is reporting 36 cases; the Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough is reporting 51 cases; the Tall Pines facility is reporting 43 cases; and The Cedars in Portland is reporting 15 cases.
Additionally, the Tyson Foods plant in Portland is reporting 10 cases — an increase of two cases since Wednesday.
Of the statewide total, 255 cases are health care workers, according to Shah.
So far, 170 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Of those, 35 people are currently hospitalized, with 18 in critical care and eight on ventilators, according to the Maine CDC.
Meanwhile, another 631 people have fully recovered from the coronavirus, meaning there are 411 active cases in the state. That’s up from 389 on Wednesday.
A majority of the cases have been in Mainers over age 50, while more cases have been reported in women than men, according to the Maine CDC.
Another 19,546 people have tested negative for the coronavirus, according to the Maine CDC.
Thursday’s report comes as the state prepares to gradual relax coronavirus-related restrictions put in place to halt the disease’s spread. Under a new order from Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, certain businesses, including barber shops, salons and other personal services, will be permitted to reopen Friday, while keeping in place a ban on gathering of 10 or more people and restrictions on lodgings and other industries into the summer. That will start to ease the economic crunch that has left 108,500 Mainers jobless since March 15 and prompted protests calling on the governor to allow businesses to reopen.
So far, the coronavirus has hit hardest in Cumberland County, where 486 cases have been confirmed and where the bulk of deaths from the virus — 26 — have been concentrated. It is one of four counties — the others are Androscoggin, Penobscot and York, with 48, 78 and 205 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 (5), Franklin (27), Hancock (10), Kennebec (104), Knox (16), Lincoln (13), Oxford (15), Piscataquis (1), Sagadahoc (19), Somerset (17), Waldo (48) and Washington (2) counties. Information about where another case was detected was not immediately available Thursday.
As of Thursday afternoon, the coronavirus has sickened 1,054,261 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 61,717 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
Watch: Janet Mills extends civil emergency in Maine