Another 94 coronavirus cases have been reported in Maine, health officials said Thursday. It marks yet another day of record-high new cases as the state sees a predominantly rural surge in virus transmission.
Thursday’s report brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 6,467. Of those, 5,749 have been confirmed positive, while 718 were classified as “probable cases,” according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency revised Wednesday’s cumulative total to 6,373, down from 6,387, meaning there was an increase of 80 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. The Bangor Daily News reports on the number of new daily cases reported to the Maine CDC, rather than the increase of daily cumulative cases.
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New cases were reported in Androscoggin (7), Aroostook (1), Cumberland (26), Franklin (2), Hancock (1), Kennebec (10), Knox (4), Penobscot (1), Sagadahoc (2), Somerset (17), Waldo (5), Washington (3) and York (14) counties, state data show. Information about where an additional case was reported wasn’t immediately available.
Only three counties — Lincoln, Oxford and Piscataquis — reported no new cases.
The seven-day average for new coronavirus cases is 61.1, up from 34.6 a week ago and up from 27.9 a month ago. That surpasses Wednesday’s seven-day average of 54.1 and the previous record high from late May when it topped out at 52.6, according to Maine CDC data.
Thursday’s report comes on the heels of the largest single-day jump in new coronavirus cases — 87 — seen in Maine since the pandemic reached here in March. Previously, the highest daily increase in new cases was logged on May 19, when 78 were reported, Maine CDC data show. Maine has seen five consecutive days with new case reports above 50.
The recent spike in cases mirrors to an extent that seen in the spring, but unlike that original surge in the early days of the pandemic, new cases have been rising in predominantly rural areas rather than Maine’s dense urban counties.
No new deaths were reported Thursday, leaving the statewide death toll at 146. A coronavirus death hasn’t been recorded in Maine since Oct. 17. Nearly all deaths have been in Mainers over age 60.
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So far, 483 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Of those, 15 people are currently hospitalized, with five in critical care and two on ventilators.
Meanwhile, 21 more people have recovered from the coronavirus, bringing total recoveries to 5,462. That means there are 859 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state, which is up from 800 on Wednesday.
A majority of the cases — 3,805 — have been in Mainers under age 50, while more cases have been reported in women than men, according to the Maine CDC.
As of Thursday, there have been 613,880 negative test results out of 621,716 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 2,545 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 862, 303 and 1,411 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 (67), Franklin (79), Hancock (71), Kennebec (341), Knox (82), Lincoln (61), Oxford (164), Piscataquis (10), Sagadahoc (84), Somerset (172), Waldo (154) and Washington (60) counties.
As of Thursday morning, the coronavirus had sickened 8,881,087 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 227,968 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.