4 more Mainers die as another 158 coronavirus cases are reported across the state

By Christopher Burns, Bangor Daily News Staff

This story will be updated.

Another four Mainers have died as health officials on Wednesday reported 158 new coronavirus cases across the state.

Wednesday’s report brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 9,519. Of those, 8,599 have been confirmed positive, while 960 were classified as “probable cases,” according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency revised Tuesday’s cumulative total to 9,361, down from 9,363, meaning there was a net increase of 156 over the previous day’s report, state data show. As the Maine CDC continues to investigate previously reported cases, some are determined to have not been the coronavirus, or coronavirus cases not involving Mainers. Those are removed from the state’s cumulative total. The Bangor Daily News reports on the number of new cases reported to the Maine CDC in the previous 24 hours, rather than the increase of daily cumulative cases.

New cases were reported in Androscoggin (17), Cumberland (31), Franklin (7), Hancock (11), Kennebec (16), Knox (1), Lincoln (4), Oxford (4), Penobscot (18), Piscataquis (3), Sagadahoc (1), Somerset (5), Waldo (4), Washington (3) and York (29) counties, state data show. Information about where four additional cases were reported wasn’t immediately available

Only one county — Aroostook — reported no new cases.

The seven-day average for new coronavirus cases is 191.7, up from 190 a day ago, up from 164.7 a week ago and up from 30.9 a month ago.

Health officials have warned Mainers that “forceful and widespread” community transmission is being seen throughout the state. Five counties are seeing high community transmission: Franklin, Knox, Somerset, Waldo and Washington counties.

There are two criteria for establishing community transmission: at least 10 confirmed cases and that at least 25 percent of those are not connected to either known cases or travel.

The latest deaths involved two York County residents, a Kennebec County resident and a Knox County resident, bringing the statewide death toll to 170. Nearly all deaths have been in Mainers over age 60.

Meanwhile, 204 more people have recovered from the coronavirus, bringing total recoveries to 7,229. That means there are 2,120 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state, which is down from 2,172 on Tuesday. It’s the first decline in the active case count Maine has seen since the latest surge began in late October.

A majority of the cases — 5,654 — have been in Mainers under age 50, while more cases have been reported in women than men, according to the Maine CDC.

As of Tuesday, there have been 768,672 negative test results out of 777,043 overall. About 1.4 percent of all tests have come back positive, the most recently available Maine CDC data show.

The coronavirus has hit hardest in Cumberland County, where 3,361 cases have been reported and where the bulk of virus deaths — 70 — have been concentrated. Other cases have been reported in Androscoggin (1,248), Aroostook (88), Franklin (170), Hancock (188), Kennebec (619), Knox (172), Lincoln (117), Oxford (252), Penobscot (533), Piscataquis (28), Sagadahoc (123), Somerset (366), Waldo (199), Washington (199) and York (1,890) counties. Information about where an additional six cases were reported wasn’t immediately available.

As of Wednesday morning, the coronavirus had sickened 11,360,128 people in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as caused 248,707 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.

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