Two men wearing face masks cross Avon Street in Portland on Sunday. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday reported 19 new cases of the novel coronavirus. There were no additional deaths.

On Sunday the Maine CDC reported one more death and 42 new cases. Monday’s number is the lowest new case count since May 15, when the public health agency reported 15 confirmed cases.

Monday’s report brings the state’s total cases of COVID-19 – the disease caused by the virus – to 2,074. Of those, 1,858 have been confirmed by testing and 216 are considered “probable.” Subtracting the numbers of people who have recovered – 1,290 – and the number of deaths, there were 706 active cases on Monday. That was down slightly from 714 on Sunday.

The state’s death toll from the disease stands at 78. The latest person to die with COVID-19 was a man in his 60s from York County, the Maine CDC reported Sunday.

At Cape Memory Care in Cape Elizabeth, where an outbreak was reported last week, the number of cases was up to 68 from 57 reported on Friday. Maine CDC spokesman Robert Long said that as of Monday there were 47 confirmed cases among residents at the long-term care facility, 20 confirmed cases among staff and one probable case.

Because of the Memorial Day holiday, the Maine CDC was not able to provide information on current  hospitalizations, equipment capacity, or the numbers of people in critical care units, said Long. But the state’s total number of hospitalizations during the pandemic is 257. On Sunday, there were 59 Mainers in hospitals with the disease, up from 50 on Saturday and 37 a little more than a week ago.

A county-by-county breakdown on Monday showed that of the state’s 2,074 total COVID-19 cases, there have been 238 cases in Androscoggin, eight in Aroostook, 1,040 in Cumberland, 36 in Franklin, 11 in Hancock, 128 in Kennebec, 20 each in Knox and Lincoln, 21 in Oxford, 99  in Penobscot, one in Piscataquis, 28 in Sagadahoc, 21 in Somerset, 51 in Waldo, two in Washington, and 350 in York.

By age, 4.3 percent of patients were under 20, while 12.4 percent were in their 20s, 13.4 percent were in their 30s, 15.5 percent were in their 40s, 18.2 percent were in their 50s, 14 percent were in their 60s, 10.8 percent were in their 70s, and 11.3 percent were 80 or older.

Women make up the majority of cases, at 51.9 percent.

After several weeks of flattening hospital admissions, the number of Maine cases and hospitalizations had been increasing recently, as much of the state’s economy is scheduled to reopen June 1, and gatherings of up to 50 people will be allowed for the first time in more than two months. In April about 98,000 people lost jobs in Maine, the state’s biggest single-month job loss since 1976.

In southern Maine the recent spike appeared unrelated to the recent expansion of testing and easing of pandemic restrictions. In Cumberland and Androscoggin counties, sharp rises in cases in the past week or so have raised concerns among experts that the disease could be seeing a resurgence.

The strain on Maine’s economy has put pressure on Gov. Janet Mills to reopen the state for business. Some business and church leaders are also suing the governor to force an even faster end to restrictions meant to contain the virus.

Schools, too, plan to reopen in the fall. But with much uncertainty about where the course of the epidemic will be in September, districts are weighing a wide range of plans, from full reopening with safety measures to partial reopening or even a continuation of remote education.

Maine’s school districts, which have run up high costs from their pandemic responses, are also expecting help from the federal government. About $39 million in federal CARES Act relief is anticipated to bolster their health budgets, paying for protective equipment, health staff, remote learning technology and other pandemic response measures.

On Monday there were more than 5.4 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, and more than 344,000 deaths. The United States leads other nations in both categories, with more than 1.6 million cases and more than 98,000 deaths.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: