Maine recorded a record-breaking 427 cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, according to Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

During the Monday, Dec. 7, media briefing, Shah said there were no new deaths in the state. The overall total of fatalities since the pandemic began now stands at 227. Currently, there are 170 people hospitalized, 52 are in intensive care units and 17 are on ventilators.

In Waldo County, three additional people have tested positive for the virus, with 53 active cases currently. In all there have been 262 cases and 17 deaths.

The seven-day moving statewide average of cases is 291, Shah said, as compared to a week ago, when it was 168. A week ago, there were 139 people hospitalized, and today there are 170.

“Just in the past seven days,” he said, “33 people have died.”

In response to the growing number of lab reports, which Shah said are outpacing the CDC's resources, changes in case investigations will be implemented.

The agency will continue to conduct case investigations for people who are 18 and younger, 65 and older, health care workers or first responders, as well as for people who have been hospitalized, identified as at higher risk or with a disability, or who are living in a congregate care facility; or who are at schools or at a child care facility.

All other people outside these groups, Shah said, will only get an initial call that will point them to resources and ask them to reach out to their close contacts.

Just today, he said, there are 4,000 lab results, and added that the current changes are to keep case numbers under control.

When they receive a positive COVID-19 test, he said, people should “promptly” begin isolating to lower the risk of spreading the virus to others. “Then, think of people who you have come in contact with, and let them know, so they, too, can quarantine for 10 days,” he said.

filed under: