The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday reported two more deaths and 65 new cases of the novel coronavirus as experts note a concerning trend of rising daily totals that appears to predate increased testing and the lifting of pandemic restrictions.

The report raises totals to 77 deaths and 2,013 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, in Maine. Of those cases, 1,804 have been confirmed by testing and another 209 are considered “probable” cases of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Maine Department of Corrections said Saturday evening that two additional inmates at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham have tested positive for COVID-19. Two inmates were previously diagnosed with the illness.

There are were 50 people hospitalized with COVID-19 around the state on Saturday, an increase after weeks of flattening or even declining hospitalizations. The last time more coronavirus patients occupied hospital beds across Maine was April 17, according to Maine CDC statistics. A week ago, there were 37 hospitalizations.

The statewide rise in hospitalizations coincides with an increase in Portland, Maine’s largest city, a Portland Press Herald analysis found.

The people reported Saturday to have died were a woman in her 80s and a man in his 70s, both from Cumberland County, the public health agency said.

“We offer our condolences to the families of those who are grieving,” Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, said Saturday on Twitter.

Subtracting the number of people who have recovered – 1,232 – and died, there were 704 active cases as of Saturday.

Some parts of Maine, especially Cumberland and Androscoggin counties, have seen spikes in daily case rates that appear to predate the recent expansion of testing. The increase has Maine CDC officials worried as the state moves toward reopening much of its economy, which has taken a serious hit as a result of pandemic control measures.

The pattern of infection has been different between the two counties. In Cumberland County, many new cases have been linked to outbreaks in congregate and long-term care facilities. On Thursday night, the Maine CDC reported 57 cases at Cape Memory Care in Cape Elizabeth. That number rose to 60 on Saturday, Shah said.

In Androscoggin County, the rising case rate appears to be coming from transmission within households, epidemiologists said.

In both cases, the possible resurgence of the coronavirus in southern Maine has experts here and out of state worried.

Shah said he was “concerned” by the trend and that “the risk is really high” for resurgence. Epidemiologists from Harvard and Johns Hopkins universities said that the data called for aggressive testing and contact tracing. At least one scientist questioned the wisdom of further reopening.

But severe economic damage, and the accompanying political fallout, have put serious pressure on Gov. Janet Mills to ease restrictions.

In April, Maine saw its biggest single-month increase in unemployment since 1976, when it adopted its current estimating methodology. The unemployment rate leapt 7.4 percentage points to 10.6 percent, a loss of 98,400 payroll jobs, the Maine Department of Labor said.

Meanwhile, multiple groups, including a church and a collective of small businesses, are suing the governor in hopes of forcing her to lift public health restrictions even faster.

County by county on Saturday, there were 227 coronavirus cases in Androscoggin, eight in Aroostook, 1,009 in Cumberland, 36 in Franklin, 11 in Hancock, 126 in Kennebec, 20 in Knox, 19 each in Lincoln and Oxford, 98 in Penobscot, one in Piscataquis, 28 in Sagadahoc, 21 in Somerset, 51 in Waldo, two in Washington, and 337 in York.

By age, 4.3 percent of patients were under 20, 12.1 percent were in their 20s, 13.3 percent were in their 30s, 15.5 percent were in their 40s, 18.3 percent were in their 50s, 14.2 percent were in their 60s, 10.7 percent were in their 70s, and 11.6 percent were 80 or older.

Women still comprised the majority of cases in Maine, at 52 percent.

Of the 50 people with confirmed COVID-19 cases Maine’s hospitals were caring for on Saturday, 26 were in intensive care and 11 on ventilators. Overall, there were 156 intensive care unit beds available of 388 statewide, and 244 ventilators available of 318. There were also 439 alternative ventilators approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help breathe for patients with acute respiratory distress.

Portland’s largest hospitals saw an uptick in coronavirus hospitalizations over the past week, while hospitalizations in other parts of Maine were flat or declined.

Coronavirus cases at Maine Medical Center rose from 15 to 24 over the week ending on Thursday, according to the Press Herald analysis. That’s its highest level of hospitalizations since April 17. Cases at Northern Light Mercy Hospital rose from five to eight.

In Bangor, Eastern Maine Medical Center had just one patient each day. Cases peaked there at seven earlier this month.

Around the world on Saturday, there were more than 5.2 million known cases of the coronavirus, with nearly 340,000 deaths. The United States still led all countries in both statistics, with more than 1.6 million cases and 96,582 deaths.

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