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Health

WATCH: Maine Deaths From Coronavirus Increase To 9, As Number Of Cases Rises Again

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Nick Woodward
/
Maine Public

Updated April 3, 2020 at 1:27 p.m. ET.

Nine people have now died in Maine from COVID-19, as the number of known cases rises to 432. That's according to Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah.

At a news briefing Friday in Augusta, Shah said the deaths of two more people - a man in his 70's and a women in her 80s, both from Cumberland County - upped the death toll overnight from seven to nine.

In the last 24 hours, the number of positive diagnoses in Maine rose by 56, Shah said. The increase, he said, is concerning.

"It is however consistent with the increase in just our neighboring state, where we are at that part of the epidemic curve, that upward sloping curve, where we do anticipate additional cases."

Shah said that some of the confirmed cases are in new counties. "The first is a single case in Aroostook County, and the other is a single case in Washington County."

He also said a student associated with Thornton Academy has tested positive for the disease.

Seventy-five people have had to be hospitalized during the course of the pandemic, and 113 have recovered from the disease.

Maine health care workers will be getting some more badly needed personal protective equipment, Shah said. He said the state is now coordinating the delivery of 109,000 pieces of equipment across the state, including 8,000 masks, 4,000 surgical masks, 2,000 disposable protective suits, 33,000 gloves, 16,000 face shields and 10,000 surgical gowns. 

He said as of this moment, the state has 110 ICU beds and 267 ventilators available, and another 200 alternative ventilators.

Meanwhile the CDC says the flu is still a public health concern. According to weekly surveillance reports, flu activity is now moderate in Maine, and there have been 37 deaths so far in the 2019-2020 season. More than 10,000 people have developed the flu and more than 500 have been hospitalized. Health officials are still urging Mainers, especially infants,to get the flu shot.

This story will be updated.