With participants socially distanced, masked and outside, services take place at Trinity Episcopal Church in Saco on Sunday. The Rev. Dave Dalzell resumed services in early July, holding them outside for the safety of all. Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

Maine reported 21 cases of the novel coronavirus Sunday and no additional deaths, keeping caseloads low as the state tackles uncertainty about safety in tourism and the coming school year.

Maine’s cumulative cases rose to 3,958, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those cases, 3,535 have been confirmed by testing and 423 are considered probable cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

One hundred twenty-three people have died with COVID-19 in Maine.

Subtracting numbers of people who have recovered – 3,387 – and died, there were 448 active cases on Sunday.

Maine is giving every county in Maine permission to open schools for in-person instruction this fall, though the ultimate decision about whether and how to offer in-person education will fall to school districts.

Driven by uncertainty about how schools will reopen and on what timeline, some parents are considering homeschooling their children. Parents told the Portland Press Herald last week that they worried about children’s ability to keep their masks on, or were thinking about homeschooling because they themselves were staying home to work.


Most Maine parents plan to send their children to school, however, according to a survey from the Maine Department of Education. Of 32,352 respondents, 47 percent strongly agreed they would send their child back in person, 25 percent agreed, 8 percent disagreed, 9 percent strongly disagreed and 12 percent did not know what they would do.

Meanwhile, officials at Bar Harbor’s Mount Desert Island Hospital reported last week that out-of-state visitors have approached them asking for advice after receiving delayed positive results from tests they took in their home states.

A surge in COVID-19 cases in the South and Southwest appears to be a factor in nationwide test delays, which are now hampering Maine’s ability to ensure that tourism can continue safely.

County by county in Maine since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 550 cases in Androscoggin, 32 in Aroostook, 2,052 in Cumberland, 45 in Franklin, 34 in Hancock, 167 in Kennebec, 26 in Knox, 34 in Lincoln, 55 in Oxford, 148 in Penobscot, three in Piscataquis, 50 in Sagadahoc, 34 in Somerset, 62 in Waldo, nine in Washington, and 655 in York.

By age, 9.2 percent of patients were under 20, while 16.2 percent were in their 20s, 15.4 percent were in their 30s, 14.9 percent were in their 40s, 16.5 percent were in their 50s, 11.6 percent were in their 60s, 8 percent were in their 70s, and 8.2 percent were 80 or over.

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

Of the 12 patients with COVID-19 in Maine hospitals on Sunday, four were in intensive care and one was on a ventilator. The state had 152 intensive care unit beds available of 391, and 274 ventilators available of 321. Maine also had 444 alternative ventilators.

Around the world on Sunday, there were over 17.9 million known cases of COVID-19 and 687,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States had over 4.6 million cases and nearly 155,000 deaths.

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