Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, reported Thursday, Sept. 3, that 50 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified since yesterday in Maine. There was also one new fatality since yesterday, a man in his 70s from Somerset County, who was associated with the outbreak connected to an Aug. 7 Millinocket wedding.

Shah said he was concerned because of the number of cases coming from York County, where 29 individuals have tested positive for the virus in just the past two days.

Breaking down the 50 new cases, Shah said, there are 18 cases from York, seven from Penobscot, 10 from Cumberland, five from Androscoggin and the other 10 are scattered across the other counties.

In Waldo County, there have been 70 total cases, with one currently active, 55 recoveries and 14 deaths.

In all, Shah said, Maine has had 4,617 total cases, with 133 deaths associated with COVID-19. A total of 424 people have been hospitalized, he said, with nine currently in the hospital. Of those, five are in intensive care units and one person is on a ventilator.

Speaking about the Aug. 7 Millinocket wedding outbreak, Shah said there are now 144 cases associated with this event, with two deaths reported. The outbreak at Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center in Madison, which is associated with the wedding outbreak, now has 16 individuals who have tested positive for the disease.

Another outbreak associated with the wedding is at the York County Jail, where 72 people now have COVID-19. Eight additional inmates have contracted the disease since yesterday. Included in the total are 19 staff, seven family of staff, and 46 inmates.

The Sanford Calvary Baptist Church reported an additional five people who have contracted the disease, bringing the total there to 10. Shah said the CDC has not made a direct link between the Sanford church and the Millinocket wedding.

Shah said the outbreaks centered in York County have the potential to spiral and affect other counties soon, and warned that, with Labor Day on the horizon, people should be "careful in your own backyard."

"COVID-19 likes holidays and can make an unexpected appearance at any gathering you have planned," he said.

He encouraged people to do their part to help keep a grip on the virus by continuing the use of proper face coverings and social distancing of at least six feet from others.

"I'm concerned because Maine has done so well," Shah said. "And if current trends continue, we might lose a grip on COVID-19."

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