Another 43 coronavirus cases have been reported in Maine, health officials said Friday.
Friday’s report brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 6,095. Of those, 5,442 have been confirmed positive, while 653 were classified as “probable cases,” according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency revised Thursday’s cumulative total to 6,052, down from 6,064, meaning there was an increase of 31 over the previous day’s report, state data show. As the Maine CDC continues to investigate previously reported cases, some are determined to have not been the coronavirus, or coronavirus cases not involving Mainers. Those are removed from the state’s cumulative total.
New cases were reported in Androscoggin (1), Aroostook (1), Cumberland (11), Kennebec (5), Oxford (1), Waldo (8), Washington (1) and York (14) counties, state data show. Information about where another case was reported wasn’t immediately available.
The seven-day average for new coronavirus cases is 35.6, up from 28 a week ago and up from 32.4 a month ago.
No new deaths were reported Friday, leaving the statewide death toll at 146. Nearly all deaths have been in Mainers over age 60.
The outbreak spreading through Waldo County has been linked to Brooks Pentecostal Church and its Lighthouse Christian Academy. It likely began on the weekend of Oct. 2, when between 100 and 150 people gathered for an indoor fellowship service at the church, according to the Maine CDC. Masks were available but not routinely used.
Other cases linked to that outbreak have been reported at the Captain Albert W. Stevens School in Belfast, the Ames Elementary School in Searsmont and Mount View Elementary School in Thorndike, as well as at Bayview Manor, a residential care facility in Searsport where an employee tested positive.
In response to the growing outbreak, state education officials on Friday downgraded Waldo County’s safety rating to “yellow,” signaling that it’s not safe for schools there to open in person full time.
So far, 473 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Of those, eight people are currently hospitalized.
Meanwhile, 38 more people have recovered from the coronavirus, bringing total recoveries to 5,307. That means there are 642 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state, which is down from 649 on Thursday.
A majority of the cases — 3,569 — have been in Mainers under age 50, while more cases have been reported in women than men, according to the Maine CDC.
As of Friday, there have been 576,566 negative test results out of 584,055 overall. About 1.2 percent of all tests have come back positive, Maine CDC data show.
The coronavirus has hit hardest in Cumberland County, where 2,445 cases have been reported and where the bulk of virus deaths — 70 — have been concentrated. It is one of four counties — the others are Androscoggin, Penobscot and York, with 841, 284 and 1,357 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 reported in Aroostook (59), Franklin (74), Hancock (62), Kennebec (305), Knox (58), Lincoln (60), Oxford (158), Piscataquis (10), Sagadahoc (79), Somerset (129), Waldo (143) and Washington (30) counties.
As of Friday morning, the coronavirus had sickened 8,428,640 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 223,226 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.