Another Mainer has died as health officials on Wednesday reported 230 new coronavirus cases across the state.
Wednesday’s report brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 11,027. Of those, 9,916 have been confirmed positive, while 1,111 were classified as “probable cases,” the Maine CDC reported.
The agency revised Tuesday’s cumulative total to 10,797, down from 10,799, meaning there was a net increase of 228 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 (23), Aroostook (10), Cumberland (37), Franklin (3), Hancock (8), Kennebec (17), Knox (4), Lincoln (3), Oxford (3), Penobscot (37), Piscataquis (1), Sagadahoc (3), Somerset (14), Waldo (6), Washington (6) and York (48) counties, state data show. Information about where an additional seven cases were reported wasn’t immediately available.
The seven-day average for new coronavirus cases is 217.4, up from 207.6 a day ago, up from 191.9 a week ago and up from 40.1 a month ago. A Somerset County resident has succumbed to the virus, bringing the statewide death toll to 190.
A worker in Maine’s second-largest hospital system was among the recent coronavirus deaths in the state. In a statement Tuesday, Northern Light Health said a “team member” acquired the virus through community exposure and not in the workplace.
A hospital spokesperson declined to provide other identifying information, citing privacy. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said he could not say whether the death was the first among a health care worker.
Deaths have been concentrated in older Mainers, with 85 percent of deaths coming in individuals over the age of 70, according to state data. Coronavirus deaths have spiked in recent weeks, with 41 deaths so far in November compared to only five total deaths in the month of October.
Wednesday was the 10th straight day the Maine CDC has reported new deaths. Since Nov. 16, there have been 25 new deaths reported, including 12 alone on Tuesday. Nearly all deaths have been in Mainers over age 60. The death announced on Wednesday involved a man in his 80s from Somerset County.
Wednesday’s report marks the sixth time in the past 10 days with more than 200 new cases. It comes as Gov. Janet Mills on Tuesday extended her civil state of emergency for the ninth time as the monthlong surge in virus transmission shows no signs of abating. That order now expires Dec. 23, unless it is extended again.
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 now 102 known cases of coronavirus among more than 30,000 University of Maine System students, faculty and staff, according to UMS spokesperson Dan Demeritt.
There are 88 cases with 13 new cases — five commuter and seven residential students, and one employee — at the University of Maine. Three cases at University of Maine at Augusta; Three cases at University of Maine Farmington; One case at University of Maine at Machias; Four cases at University of Maine at Presque Isle; and three cases at University of Southern Maine — one new case involving a student.
The only schools in the UMS with no active cases of coronavirus are University of Maine at Fort Kent and University of Maine Law School.
Fifty students across the campuses are expected to be isolating or quarantining on UMS university campuses over the Thanksgiving holiday, Demeritt said. The UMaine System conducted approximately 6,300 safe departure tests before the Thanksgiving break which identified 40 asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday morning.
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, 678 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. As of Wednesday, 105 Mainers are currently hospitalized with 46 in critical care and 11 on ventilators.
Meanwhile, 360 more people have recovered from the coronavirus, bringing total recoveries to 8,592. That means there are 2,245 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state, which is down from 2,378 on Tuesday.
A majority of the cases — 6,569 — 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 836,208 negative test results out of 849,533 overall. Just over 1.5 percent of all tests have come back positive, the most recently available Maine CDC data show.
The coronavirus has hit hardest in Cumberland County, where 3,684 cases have been reported and where the bulk of virus deaths — 71 — have been concentrated. Other cases have been reported in Androscoggin (1,433), Aroostook (116), Franklin (204), Hancock (223), Kennebec (736), Knox (203), Lincoln (149), Oxford (317), Penobscot (756), Piscataquis (40), Sagadahoc (143), Somerset (425), Waldo (222), Washington (187) and York (2,180) counties. Information about where an additional nine cases were reported wasn’t immediately available.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the coronavirus had sickened 12,698,809 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 261,223 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
BDN writer Jessica Piper contributed to this report.