The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday reported 138 cases of the novel coronavirus and two additional deaths, capping a week of record-high totals as COVID-19 surges across the state.

Meanwhile, 10 cases of COVID-19 have been identified and isolated among administrative facilities management employees at the University of Maine in Orono.

Maine has been setting new records of an unwanted variety over the past two weeks as daily case numbers continue to rise. On Friday, the state saw 184 cases, topping successive all-time highs on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Saturday, Maine’s seven-day average of new daily cases reached 135.1, more than triple what it was two weeks ago.

Maine’s cumulative cases rose to 7,603 on Saturday, a net increase of 159 cases since Friday. The previous Saturday, Oct. 31, there were 6,715 cases, meaning Maine added close to a thousand cases in one week. Hospitalizations have also increased dramatically – from 17 on Oct. 30 to 42 on Saturday.

“This is what exponential growth looks like,” Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, tweeted Friday afternoon. “Wear a face covering.”

The reported number of new cases on Saturday – 138 – is less than the difference in daily totals because the Maine CDC revises its numbers of cumulative total cases based on how many “probable” cases later test negative, and on the results of contact tracing investigations.


Of those 7,603 cumulative cases, 6,762 have been confirmed by testing and 841 are considered probable cases of COVID-19.

One hundred fifty-two people have died with COVID-19 in Maine, and 5,906 have recovered from the disease. Maine had 1,545 active cases on Saturday, an increase of more than 500 over the past week. The people reported Saturday to have died were a man in his 70s and a woman in her 80s, both from Somerset County, Maine CDC spokesman Robert Long said.

The Maine CDC is investigating outbreaks at long-term care facilities across the state, including at Russell Park Rehabilitation and Living Center, a nursing home in Lewiston where 44 residents and 20 staff tested positive this past week.

Six other long-term care facilities are also subjects of outbreak investigations. Pinnacle Health Care and Rehab in Canton, Woodlands Memory Care in Rockland, and Durgin Pines in Kittery each had more than 20 cases as of Friday.

In response to the surge, Gov. Janet Mills has mandated the use of face coverings in public places. The new rule is a stricter approach to mask wearing than her earlier orders, which required that they be worn indoors and in outdoor areas where social distancing isn’t possible.

Last weekend, Mills also ordered a significant rollback of Maine’s reopening plans. She reduced indoor gathering limits, postponed planned reopenings of bars and tasting rooms, and lowered the number of states exempt from Maine’s travel restrictions.


Four counties are now at the elevated “yellow” risk level for school reopening: Knox, Franklin, Somerset and Washington. The designation, set by the Maine Department of Education, means that school officials in those counties are recommended to limit the number of people in buildings and possibly curtail or postpone extracurricular activities such as school sports.

On Saturday afternoon, the University of Maine System said it had identified 10 cases of COVID-19 among facilities management employees at the University of Maine. The facilities management office has been closed and those employees are in quarantine; close contacts are also being asked to self-isolate.

All 240 facilities management employees, including 80 members of the custodial team, are being tested for COVID-19, the university system said.

“We are hopeful that all individuals in our communities who have tested positive and are afflicted or impacted by COVID-19 will have good health and rapid recovery, and will experience quarantine and isolation periods that progress easily,” University of Maine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy said in a statement Saturday.

Across the eight-school university system, there were just two active cases among students Saturday – one each at the University of Maine at Fort Kent and the University of Southern Maine.

County by county in Maine since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 953 coronavirus cases in Androscoggin, 74 in Aroostook, 2,921 in Cumberland, 124 in Franklin, 94 in Hancock, 444 in Kennebec, 134 in Knox, 77 in Lincoln, 191 in Oxford, 362 in Penobscot, 17 in Piscataquis, 96 in Sagadahoc, 268 in Somerset, 174 in Waldo, 104 in Washington, and 1,569 in York.


By age, 12.9 percent of patients were under 20, while 17.3 percent were in their 20s, 15.4 percent were in their 30s, 13.6 percent were in their 40s, 15.8 percent were in their 50s, 11.1 percent were in their 60s, 7.5 percent were in their 70s, and 6.4 percent were 80 or older.

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

Maine’s hospitals had 42 patients with COVID-19 on Saturday, of whom 14 were in intensive care and four were on ventilators. The state had 95 intensive care unit beds available of a total 386, and 248 ventilators available of 315. There were also 444 alternative ventilators.

Around the world on Saturday afternoon, there were 49.6 million known cases of COVID-19 and more than 1.2 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States had 9.7 million cases and 236,48 deaths.

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