The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday reported 52 additional cases of the novel coronavirus, and one death, as the Maine CDC confirmed an outbreak at the Sedgewood Commons nursing home in Falmouth.

The latest figures bring Maine’s case totals of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, to 3,154 over the course of the pandemic. Of those cases, 2,809 have been confirmed by testing and 345 are considered probable cases.

Hospitalizations held steady, at 24 patients around the state compared with Friday’s 25.

One hundred four people have died. The man reported deceased on Saturday was in his 80s and lived in Cumberland County, Maine CDC spokesman Robert Long said.

Subtracting numbers of people who have recovered – 2,566 – and died, there were 484 active cases on Saturday.

Long also confirmed on Saturday that a coronavirus outbreak had spread at Sedgewood Commons, a nursing home in Falmouth that serves residents with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Three staff members tested positive in the second week in June, Long said. The facility had already begun universal testing of staff, and since the first positive cases, a total of 23 residents and 13 employees have tested positive for COVID-19, News Center Maine (WCSH/WLBZ) reported.

 

An economic recovery committee advising Gov. Janet Mills this week discussed early recommendations that the state of Maine reopen schools and invest in broadband internet support, as well as invest in certain hard-hit industries.

The Maine Economic Recovery Committee on Friday said that reopening schools would be a critical move to support workers, who need to know their children are taken care of before they can head to their jobs. The committee is scheduled to deliver formal recommendations to Mills on July 15, but certain issues, like the reopening of schools, were too important to wait, committee members said.

The committee also is calling for significant investment in strengthening broadband speeds across the state, in hopes of supporting residents’ efforts to stay at home, as well as drawing new people to the state as an attractive place from which to telecommute.

The Mills administration said last week that it had distributed $9 million to 96 Maine cities and towns to support public health education measures that encourage residents and visitors to wear masks, practice social distancing and get tested.

Bangor, for instance, will receive $157,957 for its “Mask Up For Me” campaign, as well as efforts to promote outdoor dining at restaurants. The funding distributed by state authorities came from the federal CARES Act, intended to support states’ coronavirus responses.

Scientific study of coronavirus transmission has begun to form a consensus that mask-wearing is important – but so is the context in which they’re worn.

Masks appear to be effective in containing transmission outdoors, research shows. Congregating indoors, such as in a crowded bar, is what’s much surer to spread the disease.

Scientists also now believe some more stringent precautions that people may have taken early on in the pandemic, when less was known about the virus – like disinfecting one’s groceries, for example – are probably unnecessary.

County by county, there were 469 cases in Androscoggin, 23 in Aroostook, 1,656 in Cumberland, 39 in Franklin, 16 in Hancock, 143 in Kennebec, 24 in Knox, 23 in Lincoln, 35 in Oxford, 105 in Penobscot, three in Piscataquis, 34 in Sagadahoc, 27 in Somerset, 55 in Waldo, two in Washington, and 497 in York.

By age, only 7.1 percent of cases were people under 20, whereas 15.2 percent were in their 20s, 15.4 percent were in their 30s, 15.6 percent were in their 40s, 16.9 percent were in their 50s, 11.9 percent were in their 60s, 8.7 percent were in their 70s, and 9.2 percent were 80 or older.

Women still make up the slight majority of cases, at 51 percent.

Maine’s hospitals had 24 patients with COVID-19, of whom seven were in intensive care and five were on ventilators. The state had 138 intensive care beds available of a total 402, and 251 ventilators available of 319. There were also 441 alternative ventilators.

Around the world on Saturday, there were 9.9 million cases of coronavirus and 498,000 deaths. The United States had 2.5 million cases and 127,000 deaths.

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