State health officials reported 87 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, the highest overall single day in Maine since the pandemic began.
The 7-day average of 54.1 cases is also a new record, overshadowing the previous record set at the end of May. The 7-day average has doubled in the last month and has almost quadrupled since bottoming out at around 14 cases on 11 August.
There have now been 6,387 confirmed or probable cases since March. No further deaths were reported Wednesday, leaving the number of 146 people who died with COVID-19. Although cases have risen sharply, there has not been a COVID-19-related death in Maine in 1
Maine Gov. Janet Mills scheduled a special briefing for Wednesday afternoon to tackle the disturbing trend. She is joined by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Nirav Shah and Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew.
Shah warned on Tuesday that the recent rise in cases could continue.
“The peak we have foreseen is happening,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then. The bottom line is that we are in it now. ”
The number of new new cases Wednesday was 76. The state updates its cumulative totals every day to remove cases that were considered false positives or cases that did not involve Maine residents.
Admissions are also rising slowly, but not close to the level seen in May. As of Tuesday, 12 people were hospitalized, including five in critical care. One week ago, there were seven people in the hospital – none in critical care.
The number of active cases – the total number of cases minus those who have recovered or died – rose to 800 on Wednesday. That is an increase from 561 active cases just one month ago. There were 14 new cases in Cumberland County, 13 in York County and 9 each in Knox and Washington counties, both of which have been among the counties with the lowest number of cases to date. New cases were reported in all but two counties, Piscataquis and Sagadahoc.
Despite the number of cases, Maine is set to reopen columns Monday with additional rules in place to limit virus spread, though state health officials said Tuesday they are closely investigating the upcoming date. Bars in other states have been linked to COVID-19 outbreaks, and in Maine they are one of the last types of businesses to reopen.
Maine’s winter sports season in high school has been delayed indefinitely, the Maine Principals’ Association announced Tuesday, saying they are working with government officials and educators to design COVID-19 security protocols.
This story will be updated
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