Pedestrians walk up Exchange Street, which is closed to cars for outdoor dining, in the Old Port on Aug. 4. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Maine reported 14 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, and no additional deaths.

After accounting for cases subtracted from previous days – mostly because some cases believed to be positive turned out to be negative – Maine had a net of seven new cases Monday.

Meanwhile, 25 more Mainers have recovered from COVID-19, which means active cases declined from 405 Sunday to 387 Monday.

Maine continues to report low COVID-19 numbers, while much of the country is dealing with uncontrolled spread of the virus.

Maine is one of only six states – all in the Northeast – considered to be “trending better” by the COVID Exit Strategy website. The website, run by several public health experts, looks at several metrics regarding how each state is faring with the pandemic, such as virus prevalence, testing and what percentage of tests given come back positive.

The other states in the “trending better” category are New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Eighteen states fall into the worst category – “uncontrolled spread” – including all of the South except North Carolina, as well as California, Washington and Nevada.

The remaining states fall into the “caution warranted” or “trending poorly” categories.

Maine has the second-lowest new daily cases, on a seven-day average, in the country, at one new case per 100,000 people. Only Vermont, at 0.8 cases per 100,000 people, has a lower rate.

Many states in which the virus is out of control have 20 or more cases per 100,000.

Testing in Maine continues to expand, and now 18 of the 22 “swab and send” sites are open, according to the Maine CDC. Last week, eight were open. The “swab and send” sites allow for Mainers to quickly get a test and have results within 48 hours.

Many national labs are reporting delays of a week or longer to get results. The open locations include Northern Light Mercy Hospital in Portland, Westbrook Public Safety, and locations in Fort Kent, Presque Isle, Bar Harbor, Blue Hill, Ellsworth, Augusta, Waterville, Bangor, Brewer, Lincoln, Old Town, Dover-Foxcroft, Greenville, Pittsfield, Belfast and Calais.

Maine’s testing capacity is now at 178 per 100,000 people, compared to about 160 per 100,000 in mid-July. Testing capacity had spiked to nearly 20o per 100,000 people in late July before coming down to between 175 to 180 per 100,000 since early August.

Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine CDC director, has said that when more “swab and send” locations open, making testing more convenient, he expects more tests will be conducted.

Maine’s hospitalization rates continued a long-term trend of low numbers Monday, with eight people currently hospitalized, and three in intensive care.


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