The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday reported 61 cases of the novel coronavirus and no additional deaths, a spike in case numbers larger than any daily increase seen since May.
The last time numbers shot up this much was on May 22, when the Maine CDC reported 65 new cases in one day. On Sept. 30, the health agency reported 59 cases.
Though one day’s case numbers do not reflect an epidemiological trend, Maine’s 7-day daily case average has been trending upward. In mid-August, Maine saw an average of 14 new cases per day; on Sunday, the 7-day average was 40.7 daily cases. The state still maintains one of the lowest infection rates in the country.
Maine’s cumulative cases rose to 6,201 on Sunday, a net increase of 64 cases since Saturday. The reported number of new cases on Sunday – 61 – is lower 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 6,201 cumulative cases, 5,521 have been confirmed by testing and 680 are considered probable cases of COVID-19.
One hundred forty-six people have died with COVID-19 in Maine, and 5,334 have recovered from the disease. Maine had 721 active cases on Sunday.
Pat’s Pizza in Yarmouth announced late Saturday night that it would be temporarily closing its doors after finding one case of COVID-19 among its employees. The restaurant said it was taking “all necessary precautions” in accordance with CDC guidelines.
“We promise to reopen as soon as it is safe to serve our valued customers with the quality you expect each and every day,” restaurant management said in a Facebook post Saturday. “Thank you for your patience and loyalty during these incredibly challenging times.”
An outbreak at Brooks Pentecostal Church in the Waldo County town of Brooks had been linked to 57 COVID-19 cases as of Friday. The growth in case numbers in the county spurred the Maine Department of Education to heighten Waldo’s school risk level to “yellow,” meaning school officials may consider canceling sports and other extracurricular activities and limiting numbers of people in buildings, among other precautions.
The University of New England in Biddeford is also dealing with a possible outbreak. Three students this past week tested positive after attending an off-campus event, and all have either returned home or moved into isolation, the university said.
The United States, meanwhile, set a coronavirus infection record last week with 83,757 new cases on Friday. The U.S. has for months had the most cases and deaths in the world.
Around the world on Sunday morning, there were 42.7 million known cases of COVID-19 and over 1.1 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States had more than 8.5 million cases and 224,906 deaths.
County by county in Maine since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 847 COVID-19 cases in Androscoggin, 62 in Aroostook, 2,481 in Cumberland, 74 in Franklin, 65 in Hancock, 312 in Kennebec, 61 in Knox, 60 in Lincoln, 161 in Oxford, 292 in Penobscot, 10 in Piscataquis, 81 in Sagadahoc, 137 in Somerset, 145 in Waldo, 39 in Washington, and 1,372 in York.
By age, 13 percent of patients were under 20, while 16.5 percent were in their 20s, 15.3 percent were in their 30s, 13.8 percent were in their 40s, 16.2 percent were in their 50s, 11.4 percent were in their 60s, 7.2 percent were in their 70s, and 6.6 percent were 80 or older.
Women still make up a slight majority of cases, at just over 51 percent.
Effective Oct. 1, the Maine CDC said it will no longer update hospital capacity data on weekends. On Friday, Maine’s hospitals had eight patients with COVID-19, none of whom was in intensive care or on a ventilator. The state had 112 intensive care unit beds available of a total 380, and 258 ventilators available of 318. There were also 444 alternative ventilators.