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Maine set another grim record on Tuesday when state health officials reported 20 more coronavirus deaths and 227 new cases across the state.
It’s the highest number of deaths reported on a single day since health officials reported 12 on Nov. 24. Not all deaths reported Tuesday occurred in the past 24 hours, but are those newly confirmed to have involved the coronavirus.
Tuesday’s report brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 11,976. Of those, 10,675 have been confirmed positive, while 1,301 were classified as “probable cases,” the Maine CDC reported.
The agency revised Monday’s cumulative total to 11,749, down from 11,757, meaning there was a net increase of 219 over the previous day’s report, state data show. As the Maine CDC continues to investigate previously reported cases, some are determined to have not been the coronavirus, or coronavirus cases not involving Mainers. Those are removed from the state’s cumulative total. The Bangor Daily News reports on the number of new cases reported to the Maine CDC in the previous 24 hours, rather than the increase of daily cumulative cases.
New cases were reported in Androscoggin (34), Aroostook (9), Cumberland (47), Franklin (8), Hancock (2), Kennebec (22), Knox (3), Oxford (10), Penobscot (44), Piscataquis (4), Sagadahoc (3), Somerset (10), Waldo (2), Washington (2) and York (27) counties, state data show.
Only one county — Lincoln — reported no new cases.
The seven-day average for new coronavirus cases is 168.9, down from 173 a day ago and 217 a week ago but up from 71.9 a month ago.
A man in his 70s, five men in their 80s, a man in his 90s, a woman in her 70s and a woman in her 80s from Androscoggin County; a man in his 70s from Kennebec County; a man in his 80s from Knox County; a man in his 60s from Oxford County; a man in his 80s, a woman in her 70s and a woman in her 90s from Penobscot County; a man in his 70s from Piscataquis County; a man in his 70s from Washington County; and a man in his 80s and a man in his 90s from York County have succumbed to the virus, according to Maine CDC spokesperson Robert Long.
That brings the statewide death toll to 214.
The deaths reported on Tuesday — including the first in Piscataquis County since the pandemic began — occurred between Nov. 16 and Nov. 30. Long attributed the delay in the reporting to the Thanksgiving holiday. Nearly all deaths have been in Mainers over age 60.
Health officials have warned Mainers that “forceful and widespread” community transmission is being seen throughout the state. Every county is seeing high community transmission, which the Maine CDC defines as a case rate of 16 or more cases per 10,000 people.
There are two criteria for establishing community transmission: at least 10 confirmed cases and that at least 25 percent of those are not connected to either known cases or travel.
So far, 709 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. Information about those who are currently hospitalized wasn’t immediately available.
Meanwhile, 266 more people have recovered from the coronavirus, bringing total recoveries to 9,364. That means there are 2,398 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state, which is down from 2,465 on Monday.
A majority of the cases — 7,152— have been in Mainers under age 50, while more cases have been reported in women than men, according to the Maine CDC.
As of Monday, there have been 847,706 negative test results out of 908,538 overall. Nearly 1.7 percent of all tests have come back positive, the most recently available Maine CDC data show.
The coronavirus has hit hardest in Cumberland County, where 3,869 cases have been reported and where the bulk of virus deaths — 71 — have been concentrated. Other cases have been reported in Androscoggin (1,593), Aroostook (146), Franklin (223), Hancock (250), Kennebec (818), Knox (208), Lincoln (156), Oxford (350), Penobscot (909), Piscataquis (46), Sagadahoc (156), Somerset (461), Waldo (231), Washington (193) and York (2,367) counties.
As of Tuesday morning, the coronavirus had sickened 13,580,941 people in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as caused 268,880 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.