Another four Mainers have died as health officials on Friday reported 292 new coronavirus cases across the state.
The latest deaths include a woman in her 80s and a man in his 90s from Androscoggin County, a woman in her 50s from Oxford County and a man in his 80s from York County, bringing the statewide death toll to 224. Not all deaths reported Friday occurred in the past 24 hours, and the death total also includes those newly confirmed to have involved the coronavirus. Nearly all deaths have been in Mainers over age 60.
Friday’s report brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 12,844. Of those, 11,390 have been confirmed positive, while 1,454 were classified as “probable cases,” the Maine CDC reported.
The agency revised Thursday’s cumulative total to 12,552, down from 12,554, meaning there was a net increase of 290 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 cases reported to the Maine CDC in the previous 24 hours, rather than the increase of daily cumulative cases.
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New cases were reported in Androscoggin (16), Aroostook (13), Cumberland (39), Franklin (10), Hancock (20), Kennebec (52), Knox (6), Lincoln (5), Oxford (18), Penobscot (45), Piscataquis (5), Sagadahoc (5), Somerset (9), Waldo (5) and York (34) counties, state data show. Information about where an additional 10 cases were reported wasn’t immediately available.
Only one county — Washington — reported no new cases.
The seven-day average for new coronavirus cases is 227.7, up from 186 a day ago, up from 166.3 a week ago and up from 100.9 a month ago.
Friday’s report comes a day after Maine saw its highest single-day increase in new coronavirus cases and the first time they have risen above 300. It also marks the eighth time in 10 days when more than 200 new cases were reported.
It’s not year clear whether travelers over the Thanksgiving holiday have contributed to the ever-higher-surging virus transmission, but public health officials have warned that the holiday season presents a risk as Mainers look to visit family and friends.
Health officials have warned Mainers that “forceful and widespread” community transmission is being seen throughout the state. Every county is seeing high community transmission, which the Maine CDC defines as a case rate of 16 or more cases per 10,000 people.
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.
So far, 751 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. Currently, 164 people are hospitalized in the state, with 45 of those people in the intensive care unit and 17 on ventilators.
In the past month alone, 219 people have been hospitalized in Maine.
Meanwhile, 144 more people have recovered from the coronavirus, bringing total recoveries to 9,877. That means there are 2,743 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state, which is up from 2,601 on Thursday.
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A majority of the cases — 7,647 — 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 936,582 negative test results out of 954,351 overall. About 1.8 percent of all tests have come back positive, Maine CDC data show.
The coronavirus has hit hardest in Cumberland County, where 4,004 cases have been reported and where the bulk of virus deaths — 71 — have been concentrated. Other cases have been reported in Androscoggin (1,659), Aroostook (173), Franklin (249), Hancock (307), Kennebec (927), Knox (219), Lincoln (173), Oxford (436), Penobscot (1,044), Piscataquis (57), Sagadahoc (170), Somerset (479), Waldo (244), Washington (198) and York (2,494) counties. Information about where an additional 11 cases were reported wasn’t immediately available.
As of Friday afternoon, the coronavirus had sickened 14,218,080 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 277,412 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.