A pair of pedestrians wear masks in Portland on Friday. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Another two Mainers have died as health officials on Wednesday reported 148 new coronavirus cases across the state.

Wednesday’s report brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 8,202, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from 8,054 on Tuesday.

Of those, 7,300 have been confirmed positive, while 902 were classified as “probable cases,” the Maine CDC reports.

New cases were reported in Aroostook (4), Washington (5), Hancock (10), Penobscot (18), Piscataquis (1), Somerset (8), Waldo (1), Knox (1), Kennebec (21), Franklin (1), Oxford (8), Lincoln (4), Androscoggin (10), Sagadahoc (3), Cumberland (32) and York (19), state data show. Information about where an additional five cases were reported wasn’t immediately available.

The seven-day average for new coronavirus cases is 163.7, up from 165.3 a day ago, 117.1 a week ago and up from 30.4 a month ago.

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Wednesday’s report comes on the heels of a death toll rise amid a statewide surge in new coronavirus cases. Tuesday’s report saw four deaths, which was the largest daily increase in deaths since June 2.

Health officials have warned Mainers that “forceful and widespread” community transmission is being seen throughout the state.

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.

Last week, Gov. Janet Mills ordered Mainers to wear face coverings in all public spaces regardless of their distances from others. That move came after she delayed a planned reopening of bars and tasting rooms as cases began to climb statewide.

The statewide death toll now stands at 158. The two deaths announced Wednesday were a man in his 80s from Knox County and a woman in her 70s from Waldo County. Nearly all deaths have been in Mainers over age 60.

So far, 545 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Fifty-nine are currently hospitalized with 16 in critical care and six on a ventilator. 

Meanwhile, 126 more people have recovered from the coronavirus, bringing total recoveries to 6,226. That means there are 1,818 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state, which is up from 1,804 on Tuesday.

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A majority of the cases — 4,843 — have been in Mainers under age 50, while more cases have been reported in women than men, according to the Maine CDC.

As of Tuesday, there have been 706,408 negative test results out of 716,057 overall. Almost 1.3 percent of all tests have come back positive, Maine CDC data show.

The coronavirus has hit hardest in Cumberland County, where 3,067 cases have been reported and where the bulk of virus deaths — 70 — have been concentrated. Other cases have been reported in Androscoggin (1,043), Aroostook (82), Franklin (132), Hancock (123), Kennebec (503), Knox (145), Lincoln (90), Oxford (207), Penobscot (413), Piscataquis (19), Sagadahoc (108), Somerset (308), Waldo (181), Washington (122) and York (1,654) counties. Information about where an additional five cases were reported wasn’t immediately available.

As of Wednesday morning, the coronavirus had sickened 10,260,282 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 239,695 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.

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