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Maine Now Has 17 Positive Coronavirus Cases, Says State CDC Director

Robert F. Bukaty
Associated Press
In a Friday, March 13, 2020 file photo, Steve Moody, director of nursing at Central Maine Medical Center, mops the floor of a tent outside the emergency entrance to the hospital where patients are tested for of the coronavirus, in Lewiston, Maine.

Updated March 16, 2020: Maine now has 17 confirmed and presumptive cases of the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said another 764 tests proved negative.

At an Augusta news conference Monday morning, Shah said of the 17 positive cases, 13 of them are in Cumberland County, and the rest are in Androscoggin, Lincoln and Knox counties. Two of the individuals are hospitalized, Nirav said, and the other 15 are in isolation at home.

In addition, Shah said, the department is advising another 100 people to self-quarantine. Others are in self-quarantine due to advice from others, Shah said.

Shah said some of the cases in Cumberland County are the result of community transmission, and he expects more such cases in other Maine counties where the disease has shown up.

(Related: What Mainers Need To Know About The Coronavirus)

Other Cumberland County cases include a man in his 40s who is isolated at home, a woman in her 70s who is isolated in her home and a man in his 80s who resides at the senior living community Oceanview at Falmouth who is being treated at Maine Medical Center.

Oceanview residents and their families are being notified and the CDC has instructed the facility to check residents for symptoms.

In a statement, Oceanview says it’s asking all residents to self-quarantine for the next 14 days, is restricting visitors and is increasing the frequency of cleanings.

A health care worker in her 30s from Lincoln County has also tested presumptive positive and is isolated at home.

The Maine CDC says a case identified preliminary presumptive positive on Friday involving a 20-year-old woman is now reclassified as negative.

The state testing lab now has the authority to classify cases as confirmed, following a change in U.S. CDC protocol that no longer requires presumptive positive cases be sent to federal labs for verification. Tests run by nongovernment labs in Maine will be identified as presumptive positive until they’re confirmed by the state lab.

This story will be updated.