Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said Thursday, Oct. 1, that in the last two weeks his office has logged 488 new cases of COVID-19 across the state. In the past two days, 94 individuals have tested positive for the disease.

Since yesterday, there have been 40 new cases of the disease in the state. He said 9% of all cumulative cases have occurred in the past two weeks.

Drilling deeper into the data, Shah said the average age of people diagnosed with the virus in the last two weeks is 40, while back in March, April and May the average age was 51.

"That's concerning," he said, citing federal CDC data showing spikes in cases among younger people precede increases among older individuals. Also of concern, he said, is the geographic spread of the virus. "In the past two weeks we have had cases in all of Maine's 16 counties," he said.

Out of the 488 new cases in the last two weeks, only 76 are associated with known outbreaks. Also among the new cases, 194, or 40%, have been from York County, which Shah said, accounts for only 15% of the state's population.

"Right now there are 17 open outbreaks in York County alone," he said.

In the past two weeks there have been eight new cases in Lincoln County; five in Penobscot; two each in Somerset, Waldo and Aroostook; and one each in Hancock, Piscataquis and Washington counties.

Part of the reason there are more cases, he said, is, "we are actively looking for more cases and the increase is linked to the proactive efforts to find more cases."

Speaking about new outbreaks, he said seven people at the Woodland Pulp facility in Baileyville have tested positive for the disease, including one person from Maine, one from Louisiana and five from New York.

There are 18 cases at Sanford High School, where over 900 people were tested. At Massabesic Middle School in Waterboro, eight people tested have positive for the disease.

Pinnacle Health & Rehab in Sanford reported 13 cases, including eight residents, four staffers and one family member associated with the facility.

ND Paper in Rumford has a total of 24 people who have tested positive for the virus.

Shah said since yesterday, Maine recorded its 142nd death — a man in his 50s from York County. In all there have been 5,431 cases of COVID-19, and 4,709 people have recovered from the disease. In Waldo County there have been 75 cases with 14 deaths, 58 recoveries and currently there are five people in the hospital.

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