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Another 87 coronavirus cases have been reported in Maine, health officials said Wednesday. It’s the highest daily increase in new coronavirus cases Maine has seen since the pandemic began.
Wednesday’s report brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 6,387. Of those, 5,670 have been confirmed positive, while 717 were classified as “probable cases,” according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency revised Tuesday’s cumulative total to 6,300, down from 6,311, meaning there was an increase of 76 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.
New cases were reported in Androscoggin (5), Aroostook (3), Cumberland (18), Franklin (3), Hancock (2), Kennebec (6), Knox (10), Lincoln (2), Oxford (1), Penobscot (2), Somerset (6), Waldo (2), Washington (10) and York (16) counties, state data show. Information about where an additional case was reported wasn’t immediately available Wednesday.
Only two counties — Piscataquis and Sagadahoc — reported no new cases.
The seven-day average for new coronavirus cases is 54.1, up from 35 a week ago and up from 27.4 a month ago. That surpasses the previous record high for the seven-day average from late May when it topped out at 52.6, according to Maine CDC data
Wednesday was the fourth day in a row with a daily new case report above 50. It also marked the highest single-day jump in new coronavirus cases recorded in the Pine Tree State since the outbreak began here in mid-March. Previously, the highest daily increase in new cases was logged on May 19, when 78 were reported, Maine CDC data show.
This latest surge in coronavirus cases comes amid an outbreak in Waldo County linked to Brooks Pentecostal Church and its Lighthouse Christian Academy that has infected at least 60 people, nearly half of whom did not attend an early October indoor fellowship meeting Maine CDC officials point to as the source of the outbreak. It comes as well amid rising case numbers in Washington County, where cases have more than doubled over the past week and health officials have yet to identify a clear source of transmission.
The Maine CDC is investigating an outbreak at Woodlands Memory Care facility in Rockland, where eight residents and two staff members have tested positive as of Wednesday.
As cases tick up in Maine and nationally, Adm. Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health and a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, said the nation is at “another critical point” in the response to the pandemic and urged Americans to take precautions against transmitting the virus, according to the Associated Press.
No new deaths were reported Wednesday, leaving the statewide death toll at 146. A coronavirus death hasn’t been recorded in Maine since Oct. 17. Nearly all deaths have been in Mainers over age 60.
So far, 484 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Of those, 16 people are currently hospitalized, with seven in critical care.
Meanwhile, 42 more people have recovered from the coronavirus, bringing total recoveries to 5,441. That means there are 800 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state, which is up from 766 on Tuesday. It’s the largest number of active cases Maine has seen since the pandemic began.
A majority of the cases — 3,751 — 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 605,348 negative test results out of 613,093 overall. About 1.2 percent of all tests have come back positive, Maine CDC data show.
The coronavirus has hit hardest in Cumberland County, where 2,523 cases have been reported and where the bulk of virus deaths — 70 — have been concentrated. It is one of four counties — the others are Androscoggin, Penobscot and York, with 855, 302 and 1,404 cases, respectively — where “community transmission” has been confirmed, according to the Maine CDC.
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. That second condition has not yet been “satisfied” in other counties.
Other cases have been reported in Aroostook (67), Franklin (77), Hancock (71), Kennebec (332), Knox (78), Lincoln (61), Oxford (164), Piscataquis (10), Sagadahoc (82), Somerset (153), Waldo (150) and Washington (57) counties.
As of Wednesday morning, the coronavirus had sickened 8,800,316 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 226,982 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.