This story clarifies the times at which the record number of COVID-19 deaths reported Friday in Maine actually occurred.
Maine recorded six new deaths from the coronavirus on Friday and added 35 newly reported deaths from December as 782 new cases were reported.
Friday’s report brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 28,407, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from 27,625 on Thursday.
Of those, 23,803 have been confirmed positive, while 4,604 were classified as “probable cases,” the Maine CDC reported.
All of the deaths reported on Friday bring the statewide toll to 426. Nearly all deaths have been in Mainers over age 60. The 41 new deaths reported were technically a record, but 35 of them came after a Maine CDC review of vital statistics that was only publicized on Friday afternoon after the agency posted death figures.
The six new deaths reported in the past 48 hours include a woman in her 90s and a man in his 80s from Aroostook County, a man in his 70s from Cumberland County, a man in his 70s from Penobscot County, and two women in their 70s and 80s from York County.
The 35 deaths from December include a woman in her 70s, a woman in her 80s and a man in his 90s from Androscoggin County; a woman in her 80s, two women in their 90s, a man in his 50s, a man in his 70s and a man in his 80s from Aroostook County; a man in his 70s from Cumberland County; a man in his 70s and a man in his 80s from Franklin County; a woman in her 80s, four women in their 90s and a man in his 90s from Hancock County; a woman in her 60s, a woman in her 80s, a man in his 70s and a man in his 90s from Kennebec County; two women in their 80s, a woman in her 90s, a man in his 60s and a man in his 70s from Oxford County; a woman in her 90s and a man in his 80s from Penobscot County; a man in his 70s from Washington County; and a woman in her 70s, three women in their 90s and a man in his 80s from York County.
Friday’s report marked the highest single-day increase in new cases since Dec. 23, when Maine saw 753 new cases. It’s the seventh time in the past 10 days when new cases exceeded 400, the fourth time this week when they crested 500 and the second time this year when they surged above 700.
That comes as elevated virus transmission continues its monthslong surge, bringing high levels of community transmission, which the Maine CDC defines as a case rate of 16 or more cases per 10,000 people, even to counties once largely spared the worst of the pandemic.
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.
Maine’s seven-day average for new coronavirus cases is 501.7, up from 489.3 a day ago, down from 528.3 a week ago and up from 297.3 a month ago.
So far, 1,150 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. Information about those who are currently hospitalized wasn’t immediately available.
As of Friday, 43,362 Mainers have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, while another 3,271 have received two doses.
A majority of the cases — 16,959 — 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 1,251,474 negative test results out of 1,286,695 overall. Nearly 2.7 percent of all tests have come back positive, Maine CDC data show.
The coronavirus has hit hardest in Cumberland County, where 8,400 cases have been reported and where the bulk of virus deaths — 110 — have been concentrated. Other cases have been reported in Androscoggin (3,037), Aroostook (819), Franklin (508), Hancock (611), Kennebec (2,099), Knox (405), Lincoln (348), Oxford (1,272), Penobscot (2,452), Piscataquis (137), Sagadahoc (489), Somerset (826), Waldo (395), Washington (423) and York (6,170) counties. Information about where an additional 16 cases were reported wasn’t immediately available.
As of Friday afternoon, the coronavirus had sickened 21,717,216 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 367,143 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.