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CDC presents 100th briefing

19 new cases reported since yesterday statewide
By Fran Gonzalez | Aug 13, 2020

Augusta — At the 100th media briefing given by Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Thursday, Aug. 13, an additional 19 cases of COVID-19 were reported across the state since yesterday.

Shah said he felt honored to have spent approximately a quarter of the total time he has been in Maine reporting about all things COVID-19.

Right now, he said, 4,089 individuals have tested positive for the virus in Maine, and 126 have died. Currently, he said, there are 11 people in the hospital, with five in intensive care units and three on ventilators.

Of all the cases, 928 have been health care workers and a total of 3,592 people have recovered from the disease, marking an increase of 13 since yesterday.

Speaking on outbreaks that have recently been closed, Shah said Corsetti’s restaurant in Westbrook, which had four individuals contract the disease, is now off the list.

Orono Commons — a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility that at one time had 10 individuals with the virus — is also off the outbreak list. Goodwill distribution center in Gorham, and the Houlton Ambulance Service both had four cases and both are now reporting closed outbreaks.

Agricultural outbreaks across the state include Hancock Farms, a blueberry processing plant near the Ellsworth-Hancock town line, held steady, with 12 individuals testing positive for COVID-19; Wyman's blueberry farm in Milbridge reported five cases; and Merrill Blueberry Farms in Ellsworth has 13 people with the disease.

Marshwood Center, a nursing home in Lewiston, reports 41 cases, with 26 residents and 15 staff members having contracted the disease, and Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston is reporting a total of 15 cases.

And at Seal Rock at Atlantic Heights, a Saco nursing home, a second outbreak has been reported, with five people testing positive for COVID-19.

Reporting on testing, Shah said yesterday marked an all-time high, with 3,175 tests administered in one day. The one-day positivity rate is 0.63%, while the seven-day average is 0.65%, compared to the national average of 8%. The weekly number of tests performed, he said, is approximately 21,000.

A reporter asked if the CDC is expecting an uptick in cases once schools open. Shah said one could expect to see spikes in locations where positivity rates are much higher than in Maine, like Georgia or Arizona.

The best method for keeping case counts down, he said, is to keep the overall number of cases in the community as low as possible.

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