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Thirteen deaths in two days

Mills remembers COVID dead, warns of potential 'super-spreader' event

By Fran Gonzalez | Nov 25, 2020

Augusta — Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday, Nov. 25, a man in his 80s from Somerset County had died from COVID-19 since yesterday.

This was in addition to 12 people who died yesterday, setting a record for single-day deaths. The CDC reported that 228 people tested positive for the virus since yesterday. marking a total of 11,027 cases statewide since the pandemic began.

Out of the 228 cases since yesterday, 21% are from York County and 16% are from Penobscot and Cumberland counties.

In all, 190 people have died. In the past 30 days, Shah said, 191 people have been hospitalized. Currently there are 105 people in the hospital with 46 in intensive care units and 11 on ventilators.

Waldo County saw three new COVID-19 cases since yesterday, nine since Monday. The cumulative total of cases in Waldo County is 222, with 16 deaths, 15 hospitalizations, 168 recoveries and 36 active cases.

New outbreaks have occurred at Bangor High School, with three cases; Camire School of Dance in Auburn, three cases; Central Maine Medical Center business office, three cases; Donna's Daycare in Lewiston, three cases; Island Nursing Home in Stonington on Deer Isle, five cases; Somerset Primary Care in Skowhegan, three cases; and at Portland High School, three cases.

Yesterday the CDC opened investigations into outbreaks at Auburn Middle School, where there are three cases; Brewer High School, three cases; and at Foxcroft Academy, also three cases.

Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew of the Department of Health and Human Services said the state would be receiving more than $500,000 in coronavirus relief funds to extend food delivery programs to seniors and caregivers.

Programs such as Meals on Wheels, she said, have been providing essential food and nutrition to people staying at home through this pandemic. These programs also provide social interaction, in addition to wellness visits, she said, noting that the connection to a caring individual can be a “lifeline” for older Mainers.

The Cares Act, which funded these programs in the spring and helped them expand their services, is running out. The new funds will help stretch the initial awards into the new year, allowing agencies to maintain current levels of service and meal deliveries further into 2021.

The number of people using home food delivery services, Lambrew said, has doubled to 5,500 individuals and 102,000 meals in October alone.

Gov. Janet Mills warned that medical experts worry the Thanksgiving holiday will turn into “the mother of super-spreader events.”

In remembering patients who have died across the state, whom Mills said “all have a story,”  she mentioned Tom Flacke, first selectman of Morrill.

She called him “a kind and gentle man, a natural-born leader who died last month within only days of catching the virus,"

The next briefing will is scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30.

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