The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday reported 33 cases of the novel coronavirus and no additional deaths, as health officials expressed concern that outbreaks in southern Maine may be poised to spread out of control.

York and Oxford counties have seen a spate of outbreaks in recent weeks, and health authorities last week said York County was showing signs of community transmission – where the virus spreads through casual contact among individuals, rather than through a specific, identifiable outbreak.

Those are the “preconditions for exponential growth,” warned Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC.

“It’s not just that we have several outbreaks there, but that they are coalescing into one big fire,” said Dr. Dora Anne Mills, chief health improvement officer at MaineHealth, the state’s largest hospital network.

York County had 11 new coronavirus cases on Sunday and Oxford County had eight. In contrast, Cumberland County, until recently the epicenter in Maine, saw only four new cases on Sunday. Health officials say it’s too early to tell whether the outbreaks in York and Oxford counties could spill over into Cumberland.

Maine’s cumulative cases rose to 5,288 on Sunday. Of those, 4,741 have been confirmed by testing and 547 are considered probable cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

One hundred forty people have died with COVID-19 in Maine, and 4,567 have recovered from the disease. Maine had 581 active cases on Sunday.

Maine still has lower rates of COVID-19 infection than most other states, but York County is the outlier – and its caseload is building. Last week, new outbreaks were reported at Sanford High School, Sanford Regional Technical Center, the Sanford Wolves Club, Hussey Seating Co. in North Berwick and the Ogunquit Beach Lobster House.

Neighboring Oxford County also is seeing a rise in cases. Over the last two weeks, the rate of new cases per 10,000 residents jumped from 4.66 to 10.69 – more than double. State education officials on Friday moved the county’s school preparedness rating to “yellow” from “green,” and recommended that schools move away from in-person instruction.

Oxford County has seen a significant outbreak at the ND Paper mill in Rumford, where at least 16 employees have tested positive and one has died.

The University of Maine System reported having two active cases across its eight schools on Sunday, the same number as on Saturday. Both are at the University of Southern Maine. As of Sunday, the university system had conducted 16,781 tests, resulting in 13 positive results representing new diagnoses of COVID-19.

County by county in Maine since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 711 COVID-19 cases in Androscoggin, 43 in Aroostook, 2,307 in Cumberland, 61 in Franklin, 54 in Hancock, 214 in Kennebec, 39 in Knox, 42 in Lincoln, 147 in Oxford, 254 in Penobscot, nine in Piscataquis, 66 in Sagadahoc, 86 in Somerset, 73 in Waldo, 16 in Washington, and 1,165 in York.

By age, 11.5 percent of patients were under 20, while 16.8 percent were in their 20s, 15.3 percent were in their 30s, 14.3 percent were in their 40s, 15.9 percent were in their 50s, 11.6 percent were in their 60s, 7.4 percent were in their 70s, and 7.2 percent were 80 or over.

Women still make up a slight majority of cases, at just over 51 percent.

Maine’s hospitals had 11 patients with COVID-19 on Sunday, of whom two were in intensive care and none were on ventilators. The state had 109 intensive care unit beds available of a total 381, and 250 ventilators available of 381. There were also 444 alternative ventilators.

Around the world on Sunday evening, there were 32.9 million known cases of COVID-19 and more than 995,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States had over 7.1 million cases and 204,724 deaths.

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