Maine has marked its worst day yet in the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday with a record-high 554 new coronavirus cases and two more deaths.
Wednesday’s report brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 17,311. Of those, 15,142 have been confirmed positive, while 2,169 were classified as “probable cases,” according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency revised Tuesday’s cumulative total to 16,757, down from 16,760, meaning there was an increase of 551 over the previous day’s report. 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.
With these latest deaths, the statewide death toll stands at 267. Nearly all deaths have been in Mainers over age 60. The two deaths reported Wednesday was a woman in her 80s from Androscoggin County and a man in his 80s from Oxford County.
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New cases were reported in Androscoggin (6), Aroostook (33), Cumberland (148), Franklin (7), Hancock (17), Kennebec (45), Knox (4), Lincoln (14), Oxford (26), Penobscot (42), Piscataquis (1), Sagadahoc (19), Somerset (3), Waldo (15), Washington (10) and York (147) counties, state data show. Information about where an additional 17 cases were reported wasn’t immediately available.
The seven-day average for new coronavirus cases is 409.3, up from 387.9 a day ago, up from 329.7 a week ago and up from 171.3 a month ago.
Wednesday’s report marked a dramatic spike in new coronavirus cases, smashing the previous record high — 427 — set only three days earlier. It’s the seventh time in the past 10 days when Maine saw new cases rise above 400.
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.
So far, 934 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. Of those, 187 people are currently hospitalized, with 46 in critical care and 18 on ventilators.
Meanwhile, 36 more people have recovered from the coronavirus, bringing total recoveries to 10,650. That means there are 6,394 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state, which is up from 5,881 on Tuesday.
A majority of the cases — 10,177 — 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 1,047,513 negative test results out of 1,071,054 overall. About 2.1 percent of all tests have come back positive, Maine CDC data show.
The coronavirus has hit hardest in Cumberland County, where 5,281 cases have been reported and where the bulk of virus deaths — 81 — have been concentrated. Other cases have been reported in Androscoggin (2,057), Aroostook (333), Franklin (356), Hancock (421), Kennebec (1,286), Knox (279), Lincoln (208), Oxford (719), Penobscot (1,385), Piscataquis (79), Sagadahoc (230), Somerset (581), Waldo (309), Washington (232) and York (3,536) counties. Information about where an additional 19 cases were reported wasn’t immediately available.
As of Wednesday morning, the coronavirus had sickened 16,751,562 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 304,589 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.