May 20, 2020
State Latest News | Coronavirus | Bangor Metro | Central Maine Power | Today's Paper

3 more Mainers die as 28 new coronavirus cases are detected

Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support our critical reporting on the coronavirus by purchasing a digital subscription or donating directly to the newsroom.

Another three Mainers have died as health officials on Tuesday confirmed another 28 cases of the coronavirus have been detected in the state.

There have now been 1,741 cases across all of Maine’s counties since March, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from 1,713 on Monday. Of those, 1,561 have been confirmed positive, while 180 are likely positive, according to the Maine CDC.

The three Mainers who died were residents of Cumberland County — a woman in her 90s, a woman in her 80s and a man in his 40s. The latter victim is only the second person in that age bracket to die from the virus in Maine and nobody in younger age groups has died from it here.

Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah also announced that one death over the weekend that was previously recorded as a coronavirus death was in a patient who had been released from isolation and died of other causes. The statewide death toll sits at 73.

[Our COVID-19 tracker contains the most recent information on Maine cases by county]

So far, 225 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Of those, 44 people are currently hospitalized, with 19 in critical care and 11 on ventilators, according to the Maine CDC. Meanwhile, 1,088 people have fully recovered from the virus, meaning there are 580 active and likely cases in the state, according to the Maine CDC. That’s down from 589 on Monday.

Among outbreaks in the state, Shah said the CDC is concerned about one at an apartment building at 100 State St. in Portland, where many at-risk individuals live. He said the agency is working to offer testing to residents there.

Shah said there are now 42 cases, including 31 residents and 11 staff, at the Springbrook Center, a senior living center in Westbrook. There are also two deaths affiliated with the facility, he said.

The Maine CDC is also monitoring two workplace outbreaks. There are 19 cases affiliated with the Cianbro construction site in Augusta, which is now shut down, Shah said. He said the agency was investigating the conditions that caused the outbreak in order to inform practices at other construction facilities.

Construction was allowed to remain open when Gov. Janet Mills required non-essential businesses to close at the end of March, though some businesses still shut down citing concerns about worker safety.

There are also eight additional cases at the Bristol Seafood plant in Portland, bringing the total number of cases affiliated with the facility to 13, Shah said. The company announced Monday that it was temporarily closing the plant for cleaning.

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.

Additionally, there have been 33,035 negative tests for coronavirus in the state as of last Wednesday. Some individuals have been tested more than once.

Shah announced on Tuesday that the state received word that it will be receiving an additional eight cases of the drug remdesivir, enough to treat 40 patients. The drug has been shown to be potentially effective in shortening the length of hospital stays in severe cases of COVID-19, though it is too early to say how it has affected patients in Maine, Shah said.

The coronavirus has hit hardest in Cumberland County, where 863 cases have been confirmed and where the bulk of virus deaths — 38 — have been concentrated. It is one of four counties — the others are Androscoggin, Penobscot and York, with 151, 94 and 307 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 (7), Franklin (33), Hancock (11), Kennebec (120), Knox (20), Lincoln (17), Oxford (17), Piscataquis (1), Sagadahoc (27), Somerset (20) Waldo (50) and Washington (2) counties. Information about where another case was detected wasn’t immediately available Tuesday.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the coronavirus has sickened 1,519,986 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 91,179 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.

Watch: Drug to treat coronavirus coming to Maine

 

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the number of negative tests reflected individuals tested. It has been corrected to show it represents the number of total negative tests.

Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

You may also like