Maine sees highest single-day death toll yet as record 258 new coronavirus cases are reported

By Christopher Burns, Bangor Daily News Staff

This story will be updated.

Maine marked the grimest milestone yet in the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday when the state saw the largest single-day death toll and another record-high number of new cases. 

A dozen people across five counties succumbed to COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, while 258 new cases were reported across the state, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tuesday’s report brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 10,799. Of those, 9,698 have been confirmed positive, while 1,101 were classified as “probable cases,” the Maine CDC reported.

The agency revised Monday’s cumulative total to 10,541, down from 10,544, meaning there was a net increase of 255 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 (20), Aroostook (11), Cumberland (48), Franklin (5), Kennebec (24), Knox (5), Lincoln (7), Oxford (21), Penobscot (52), Piscataquis (3), Sagadahoc (4), Somerset (2), Waldo (3), Washington (3) and York (45) counties, state data show. Information about where an additional five cases were reported wasn’t immediately available.

Only one county — Hancock — reported no new cases.

The seven-day average for new coronavirus cases is 207.9, up from 205.7 a day ago, up from 190.9 a week ago and up from 37.4 a month ago.

An Androscoggin County resident, a Franklin County resident, five Somerset County residents, a Washington County resident and four York County residents died from the virus, bringing the statewide death toll to 189. It’s the highest number of deaths reported on a single day since June 1, when only five Mainers died from the virus Nearly all deaths have been in Mainers over age 60.

Tuesday’s report smashed the previous record-high for new cases — 247 — set less than two weeks ago, Maine CDC data show. It’s the fifth time over the past 10 days with more than 200 new cases reported.

Health officials have warned Mainers that “forceful and widespread” community transmission is being seen throughout the state. Every county is seeing high community transmission, which the Maine CDC defines as a case rate of 16 or more cases per 10,000 people.

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.

So far, 662 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19. Information about those who are currently hospitalized wasn’t immediately available. 

Meanwhile, 246 more people have recovered from the coronavirus, bringing total recoveries to 8,232. That means there are 2,378 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state, which is down from 2,381 on Monday.

A majority of the cases — 6,434 — have been in Mainers under age 50, while more cases have been reported in women than men, according to the Maine CDC.

As of Monday, there have been 825,553 negative test results out of 838,605 overall. About 1.5 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 3,647 cases have been reported and where the bulk of virus deaths — 71 — have been concentrated. Other cases have been reported in Androscoggin (1,410), Aroostook (106), Franklin (201), Hancock (214), Kennebec (719), Knox (198), Lincoln (146), Oxford (313), Penobscot (719), Piscataquis (38), Sagadahoc (140), Somerset (411), Waldo (216), Washington (181) and York (2,132) counties. Information about where an additional eight cases were reported wasn’t immediately available.

As of Tuesday morning, the coronavirus had sickened 12,421,995 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 257,707 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.

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