Dr. Shah Says York County Remains an ‘Area of Concern’ For Maine CDC
During Thursday's Maine CDC briefing, director Dr. Nirav Shah said that there have been at least 29 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in York County in the past two days, making it an area of concern. At least 16 of those cases have been associated with known outbreaks and the other 13 are thought to be related to community transmission.
Shah said Investigations into those cases are ongoing, but that suggests that those cases are not associated with a known outbreak or a known person with COVID-19 and that in turn suggests strong, ongoing sustained transmission of COVID-19 across York County.
Shah reported that the positivity rate in York County is 1.8% over the past 14 days, 3 times higher than the statewide positivity rate. The average rate of new cases in York County over the past 14 days is 7.5 cases per 10,000 people while the statewide rate is 2.75 cases per 10,000 people.
"All of this means that there is now strong evidence that the virus is with us, " Shah said, "and in certain parts of the state, like in York County, has resulted in sustained, widespread transmission. For that reason, York county in particular remains an area high concern and high focus for all of us at Maine CDC right now."
The latest numbers released Thursday by the Maine CDC, show that the cumulative number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Maine is now at 4,617, an increase of 50 since Wednesday. 4,145 of those cases are confirmed while 472 are deemed probable.
There were no new deaths reported of an individual with COVID-19, keeping the total at 133. 424 patients have had to be hospitalized at some point. 9 are currently hospitalized with 5 in critical care and 1 patient is on a ventilator.
3,988 people diagnosed with COVID-19 have recovered, an increase of 10 since Wednesday. The total number of diagnosed active cases of COVID-19 is 456, an increase of 40 since Wednesday. The cumulative number of COVID-19 negative tests is 277,172 with a 14-day positivity rate of 0.7%.
The Maine CDC has determined that there are 144 cases of COVID-19 associated with a wedding reception with around 65 guests at the Big Moose Inn in Millinocket on August 7. That wedding reception outbreak is linked to an outbreak at the York County Jail where 72 cases have been reported.
Governor Mills has extended the State of Emergency in Maine through October 1, allowing Maine to continue to receive federal funding and use available resources to respond to COVID-19.
An executive order remains in place requiring large retail stores, lodging, restaurants, outdoor bars and tasting rooms in coastal counties and Maine's largest cities to enforce the state's face covering requirement.
The counties where businesses are be required to enforce the face covering requirement are Hancock, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Cumberland and York as well as the more populated inland cities Bangor/Brewer and Lewiston/Auburn.
If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, including a runny nose, sore throat, dry cough, fever and in severe cases, difficulty breathing, the Maine CDC says you should call your doctor before going in so that they can prepare for your arrival. The Maine CDC continues to update with new information daily. Keep checking on our mobile app or website to get the latest.