Another 163 coronavirus cases have been reported across the state, Maine health officials said Thursday.
Thursday’s report brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 7,260. Of those, 6,417 have been confirmed positive, while 843 were classified as “probable cases,” according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency revised Wednesday’s cumulative total to 7,097, up from 7,077, meaning there was an increase of 183 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 (8), Aroostook (3), Cumberland (39), Franklin (9), Hancock (6), Kennebec (15), Knox (9), Lincoln (2), Penobscot (9), Piscataquis (1), Sagadahoc (4), Somerset (13), Waldo (5), Washington (10) and York (29) counties, state data show. Information about where an additional new case was reported wasn’t immediately available.
Only one county — Oxford — reported no new cases.
The seven-day average for new coronavirus cases is 118.7, up from 107.4 a day ago, 67 a week ago and up from 31 a month ago. It’s the highest seven-day average Maine has seen since the pandemic began in March, far surpassing the highs seen in during the late spring.
In response to the surge in virus transmission, Gov. Janet Mills on Thursday ordered that Mainers wear face coverings in public settings no matter their distance from others. Her executive order expands upon an earlier one that required face coverings only when a six-foot distance from others is hard to maintain.
“This deadly and dangerous virus is spreading all across our state,” Mills said Thursday. “Protect your family. Protect a health care worker. Protect the elderly. Wear your face covering. Save lives. It is that simple.”
Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah warned last week that Maine is seeing “forceful and widespread” community transmission of the coronavirus throughout the state and that Mainers “take action now” to halt the virus’ spread.
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.
No new deaths were reported Thursday, leaving the statewide death toll at 150. Nearly all deaths have been in Mainers over age 60.
So far, 510 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Of those, 38 people are currently hospitalized, with 17 in critical care and two on ventilators.
Meanwhile, 69 more people have recovered from the coronavirus, bringing total recoveries to 5,751. That means there are 1,359 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state, which is up from 1,241 on Wednesday. It’s yet another record high for active cases.
A majority of the cases — 4,287 — 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 670,542 negative test results out of 679,283 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 2,814 cases have been reported and where the bulk of virus deaths — 70 — have been concentrated. Other cases have been reported in Androscoggin (907), Aroostook (73), Franklin (113), Hancock (85), Kennebec (422), Knox (117), Lincoln (75), Oxford (186), Penobscot (339), Piscataquis (12), Sagadahoc (95), Somerset (249), Waldo (166), Washington (90) and York (1,516) counties. Information about where an additional case was reported wasn’t immediately available.
As of Thursday morning, the coronavirus had sickened 9,516,790 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 234,011 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
Correction: An earlier version of this report misstated the number of new cases reported in York County in the previous 24 hours.