Maine set another grim record on Tuesday when state health officials reported 20 more coronavirus deaths and 227 new cases across the state.
It’s the highest number of deaths reported on a single day, exceeding the 12 deaths health officials reported on Nov. 24. Not all deaths reported Tuesday occurred in the past 24 hours, and the death total also includes those newly confirmed to have involved the coronavirus.
Tuesday’s report brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 11,976. Of those, 10,675 have been confirmed positive, while 1,301 were classified as “probable cases,” the Maine CDC reported.
The agency revised Monday’s cumulative total to 11,749, down from 11,757, meaning there was a net increase of 219 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.
New cases were reported in Androscoggin (34), Aroostook (9), Cumberland (47), Franklin (8), Hancock (2), Kennebec (22), Knox (3), Oxford (10), Penobscot (44), Piscataquis (4), Sagadahoc (3), Somerset (10), Waldo (2), Washington (2) and York (27) counties, state data show.
Only one county — Lincoln — reported no new cases.
The seven-day average for new coronavirus cases is 168.9, down from 173 a day ago and 217 a week ago but up from 71.9 a month ago.
A man in his 70s, five men in their 80s, a man in his 90s, a woman in her 70s and a woman in her 80s from Androscoggin County; a man in his 70s from Kennebec County; a man in his 80s from Knox County; a man in his 60s from Oxford County; a man in his 80s, a woman in her 70s and a woman in her 90s from Penobscot County; a man in his 70s from Piscataquis County; a man in his 70s from Washington County; and a man in his 80s and a man in his 90s from York County have succumbed to the virus, according to Maine CDC spokesperson Robert Long.
That brings the statewide death toll to 214.
The deaths reported on Tuesday — including the first in Piscataquis County since the pandemic began — occurred between Nov. 16 and Nov. 30. Long attributed the delay in the reporting to the Thanksgiving holiday. Nearly all deaths have been in Mainers over age 60.
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 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.
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. That’s down from 121 cases on Monday.
There are 93 cases at the University of Maine — Nineteen students completed isolation, two new cases involving non-residential students; One case at University of Maine at Augusta — one student completed isolation; Three cases at University of Maine Farmington — one student completed isolation; One case at University of Maine at Presque Isle; and four cases at University of Southern Maine — one new case involving a non-residential student.
The only schools in the UMS with no active cases of coronavirus are University of Maine at Fort Kent, University of Maine at Machias, University of Maine Law School.
In the last 30 days, there have been 313 reported cases of COVID-19 in Pre-K-12 schools. Of those, 282 have been confirmed positive, while 31 were classified as “probable cases,” according to the Maine CDC.
There are currently open outbreaks at 24 schools with Guy E Rowe School in Norway having the highest number of cases at nine.
So far, 709 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.
Meanwhile, 266 more people have recovered from the coronavirus, bringing total recoveries to 9,364. That means there are 2,398 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state, which is down from 2,465 on Monday.
A majority of the cases — 7,152— 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 897,947 negative test results out of 913,816 overall. Nearly 1.7 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 3,869 cases have been reported and where the bulk of virus deaths — 71 — have been concentrated. Other cases have been reported in Androscoggin (1,593), Aroostook (146), Franklin (223), Hancock (250), Kennebec (818), Knox (208), Lincoln (156), Oxford (350), Penobscot (909), Piscataquis (46), Sagadahoc (156), Somerset (461), Waldo (231), Washington (193) and York (2,367) counties.
As of Tuesday evening, the coronavirus had sickened 13,666,470 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 269,948 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.