The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recorded another presumptive positive test for coronavirus-related disease and is reviewing two new positive tests for the disease from nongovernment labs, the agency said Saturday afternoon.

The news was followed Saturday night by the announcement by several school districts in southern Maine, including Portland, that they were canceling classes for up to two weeks beginning Monday.

The latest positive case, a woman in her 40s from Cumberland County, was a close household contact of another individual who had a presumptive positive test, Maine CDC said. The agency’s Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory validated the woman’s sample from a lab affiliated with the health care and hospital company MaineHealth.

Presumptive positive tests are those that Maine CDC itself conducted or verified. Those tests still need to be confirmed by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Maine CDC is also reviewing two more preliminary presumptive positive cases, the agency said. Preliminary positive cases are those that have been tested at nongovernment labs but not validated by Maine CDC.

The agency will not release the location of preliminary presumptive positive cases until it validates the result, said spokesman Robert Long. Agency policy is to release gender, age and county of residence for presumptive positives, he added. For the patient’s privacy, Maine CDC is not releasing any other identifying information.


People who test positive, whether confirmed, presumptive or preliminary “are sick, getting treatment, and in settings designed to reduce the spread of the virus,” Long said. “We as Maine people should give them a chance to work with their medical providers to get better.”

Maine CDC’s director, Dr. Nirav Shah, is scheduled to brief the news media Monday morning and provide more details about the new cases if available.

The new results bring the total cases of likely COVID-19 in Maine to three presumptive positive cases and three preliminary positive cases. The first positive case, a woman in her 50s from Androscoggin County, was announced Thursday. The second case, a man in his 50s from Cumberland County who worked at Portland’s India Street health clinic, was reported Friday.

Maine authorities have joined those across the globe urging people to limit the spread of the coronavirus by avoiding large gatherings, exercising good hygiene, including frequent hand washing, staying home when sick, and practicing “social distancing” – keeping out of close contact with others. There are more than 156,000 cases of COVID-19 and over 5,800 deaths worldwide, most in China, where the virus originated. There are more than 2,700 cases now in the U.S. with 54 deaths recorded, according to a tracking project from Johns Hopkins University.

To date, there are no confirmed cases of the disease in Maine, according to Maine CDC. Maine is waiting on cases to be confirmed by U.S. CDC and it is unclear when the results of those tests will be available.

“We anticipate receiving results from U.S. CDC early next week, but the U.S. CDC has been prioritizing services to states with higher numbers of confirmed cases,” Long said.

As of Friday afternoon, 111 people in Maine had been tested for COVID-19. Aside from the preliminary and presumptive positives, there were 91 negative tests and 17 pending tests. Updated testing results were not available Saturday night.

Long said Maine CDC intends to update its testing data by midday on Monday. Maine CDC planned only to update the data on the website Monday through Friday based on the decision that the best use of resources over the weekend was direct communication with patients, medical providers, first responders, community leaders, media and individuals directly affected by COVID-19, Long said.

“We’ll continue to review the best ways for people working through the weekend to spend their time and make adjustments accordingly,” he said.

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