Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah speaks during a press briefing inside the Maine Emergency Management Agency in Augusta in this March 23, 2020, file photo. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

The BDN is making the most crucial coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact in Maine free for all readers. Click here for all coronavirus stories. You can join others committed to safeguarding this vital public service by purchasing a subscription or donating directly to the newsroom.

More than two dozen new coronavirus cases were reported on Wednesday as the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention determined a number of previously reported cases to be false positives.

Twenty-eight new cases of the coronavirus were reported Wednesday, according to Maine CDC spokesperson Robert Long. He said 25 of those cases were confirmed and three “probable.” That brings the total cases reported since the outbreak began in March to 3,723.

Of those, 3,321 had been confirmed positive, while 402 were classified as “probable cases,” according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

New cases were tallied in Androscoggin (2), Cumberland (13), Franklin (1), Hancock (2), Kennebec (3), Sagadahoc (3) and York (3) counties. Daily changes in county-level data may vary from new case reports as the Maine CDC continues to investigate cases and revise past data.

No new deaths were reported Wednesday, leaving the statewide death toll at 118. Nearly all deaths have been in Mainers over age 60.


Wednesday’s total remains steady because the Maine CDC determined 24 “probable” cases, including 19 associated with a summer camp, were false positives for a cumulative reduction of 21 probable cases, Long said Wednesday. Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah on Tuesday attributed those false positives from the summer camp, which he did not identify, to less reliable technology it used for testing.

Another four previously reported confirmed cases were determined to involve people from out of state and are no longer being counted as Maine cases, bringing the net increase in cumulative cases to 21.

So far, 377 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Of those, 10 people are currently hospitalized, with eight in critical care and four on ventilators.

Meanwhile, 25 more people have recovered from the coronavirus, bringing total recoveries to 3,216. That means there are 389 active and likely cases in the state, down from 414 on Tuesday.

A majority of the cases — 2,072 — have been in Mainers under age 50, while more cases have been reported in women than men, according to the Maine CDC.

As of Wednesday, there have been 147,923 negative test results out of 153,125 overall. Just under 3 percent of all tests have come back positive, Maine CDC data show.

The coronavirus has hit hardest in Cumberland County, where 1,974 cases have been reported and where the bulk of virus deaths — 68 — have been concentrated. It is one of four counties — the others are Androscoggin, Penobscot and York, with 513, 136 and 602 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 (30), Franklin (45), Hancock (21), Kennebec (153), Knox (25), Lincoln (31), Oxford (48), Piscataquis (4), Sagadahoc (39), Somerset (32), Waldo (60) and Washington (6) counties. Information about where another four cases were reported wasn’t immediately available Wednesday morning.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the coronavirus has sickened 3,925,025 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 142,401 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.