A mask-wearing woman looks at her phone while walking in Portland on Nov. 6. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Two Mainers have died as health officials on Sunday reported 151 new coronavirus cases across the state.

Sunday’s report brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 8,944. Of those, 8,006 have been confirmed positive, while 938 were classified as “probable cases,” according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency revised Saturday’s cumulative total to 8,793, up from 8,791, meaning there was a net increase of 153 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.

The statewide death toll now stands at  165. The deaths announced Sunday involved a woman in her 80s from Somerset County and a man in his 80s from Kennebec County. 

Over the past two weeks, Maine has seen 18 deaths from the virus, the bulk of which have been reported since last Saturday. That’s more than Maine saw in the two months prior combined. Nearly all deaths have been in Mainers over age 60.

New cases were reported in Androscoggin (16), Cumberland (47), Franklin (6), Hancock (2), Kennebec (10), Knox (2), Lincoln (3), Oxford (2), Penobscot (8), Piscataquis (1), Somerset (8), Waldo (2), Washington (3) and York (39) counties, state data show. Information about where three additional cases were reported wasn’t immediately available.

Only two counties — Aroostook and Sagadahoc— reported no new cases in the previous 24 hours.

The seven-day average for new coronavirus cases is 182.9, up from 174.6 a day ago, 159 a week ago and up from 28.4 a month ago.

The state continues to struggle with an unprecedented surge in virus transmission far outpacing that seen during the earliest weeks of the pandemic. Health officials have warned Mainers that “forceful and widespread” community transmission is being seen throughout the state. Five counties are seeing high community transmission: Franklin, Knox, Somerset, Waldo and Washington counties.

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, 574 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. As of Saturday, 67 people are currently hospitalized, with 23 in critical care and seven on ventilators.

Meanwhile, 84 more people have recovered from the coronavirus, bringing total recoveries to 6,681. That means there are 2,098 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state, which is up from 2,031 on Saturday.

A majority of the cases — 5,278 — 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 had been 735,872 negative test results out of 746,314 overall. About 1.3 percent of all tests have come back positive, Maine CDC data show.

The coronavirus has hit hardest in Cumberland County, where 3,219 cases have been reported and where the bulk of virus deaths — 70 — have been concentrated. Other cases have been reported in Androscoggin (1,183), Aroostook (86), Franklin (151), Hancock (167), Kennebec (566), Knox (162), Lincoln (106), Oxford (230), Penobscot (483), Piscataquis (24), Sagadahoc (115), Somerset (332), Waldo (194), Washington (146) and York (1,777) counties. Information about where three additional cases were reported wasn’t immediately available.

As of Sunday morning, the coronavirus had sickened 10,906,725 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 245,614 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.

Correction: An earlier version of this report misstated the net increase from Saturday’s initial cumulative total to Sunday’s.

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