Maine reported two additional deaths – including a man in his 20s – and 10 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, capping a week that saw localized outbreaks but an overall decline in critical virus statistics.

Maine’s cumulative cases rose to 3,646, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those cases, 3,252 have been confirmed by testing and 394 are considered probable cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

One hundred seventeen people with the coronavirus have died so far in Maine. The deaths reported Saturday included a man in his 90s from York County. The man in his 20s who died was from Androscoggin County – the youngest person to die with COVID-19 reported to the Maine CDC, a spokesman for the agency said.

Subtracting numbers of people who have recovered – 3,136 – and died, there were 393 active cases on Saturday.

Hospitalizations with COVID-19 reached new lows this past week, with only nine patients in hospitals around the state reported to have the coronavirus on Saturday, down from 12 on Friday. Maine Medical Center in Portland averaged 3.3 patients per day for the week ending Thursday, compared to a peak daily count of 35 on April 7.

 

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, said on Saturday that Maine’s hospitalizations compared to population were the lowest in the country, at one patient per 100,000. Cases are rising precipitously through the South and Southwest.

Still, Maine public health authorities are working to contain a handful of localized outbreaks, including at least 11 cases at American Roots, a clothing manufacturer in Westbrook. The company has been making personal protective equipment since April, and now is undergoing universal testing under the eye of the Maine CDC.

Outbreaks also have been reported at Corsetti’s Market in Westbrook and the Goodwill Northern New England warehouse in Gorham, each of which had three cases. The Maine CDC this past week reported another three positive tests at the Cumberland County Jail, though the sheriff says that some of those results may not be conclusive.

As school season approaches, the state is working to help families with education and child care. Gov. Janet Mills announced Friday that she would distribute $8.4 million in federal coronavirus relief to child care facilities, but she called for Congress to release even more aid.

The money will cover such expenses as cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment. Most child care centers closed in March, but about 80 percent have now reopened, according to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Still, they’re running at reduced capacity.

The Mills administration on Friday also released guidelines for reopening schools, with color-coded levels of safety precautions based on the risk of infection in each county. Many decisions, such as whether to use in-person instruction, remote instruction, or a hybrid, will be left to districts, however.

County by county since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 509 cases in Androscoggin, 27 in Aroostook, 1,938 in Cumberland, 42 in Franklin, 19 in Hancock, 147 in Kennebec, 25 in Knox, 29 in Lincoln, 49 in Oxford, 131 in Penobscot, four in Piscataquis, 34 in Sagadahoc, 32 in Somerset, 60 in Waldo, five in Washington, and 590 in York.

By age, 8.9 percent of patients were under 20, while 16 percent were in their 20s, 15.2 percent were in their 30s, 15.4 percent were in their 40s, 16.2 percent were in their 50s, 11.6 percent were in their 60s, 8.1 percent were in their 70s, and 8.5 percent were 80 or over.

Women still are the slight majority of cases, at 52 percent.

Of the nine patients with COVID-19 in Maine hospitals on Saturday, eight were in intensive care and five were on ventilators. The state had 148 intensive care unit beds available of 384, and 272 ventilators available of 320. Maine also had 441 alternative ventilators.

Around the world on Saturday evening, there were 14.1 million cases of COVID-19 and just over 598,000 deaths. The United States had 3.6 million cumulative cases and nearly 140,000 deaths.

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