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WATCH: Maine COVID-19 Cases Rise To 499; No New Loss Of Life

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Nick Woodward
/
Maine Public

Updated April 6, 2020 at 1:14 p.m. ET.

Maine now has 499 cases of COVID-19, an additional 29 cases since Sunday, says Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah.  More than 350 of those cases are among residents of Cumberland and York counties.At an Augusta news conference, Shah said 92 of those infected have had to be hospitalized over the course of the epidemic, and 158 have recovered. The death toll remains at 10.

Piscataquis continues to be the only county in Maine with no known cases, but Shah has urged residents to behave as though the disease is present whether or not cases have been identified.  He said it's likely that only a fraction of cases in Maine have been identified.

Shah said the agency will distribute more personal protective equipment this week, focusing on long-term care, skilled nursing, and assisted living facilities. "These are areas we know across the country there have been large scale outbreaks of COVID-19."

Shah said the state is working with private manufacturers to boost PPE supplies.

Shah said as Maine prepares for more patients, his agency is working to set up an alternative care site in southern Maine, where most cases have been confirmed.  

"We're simultaneously working on plans for modules to be activated, one in northern Maine, as well as continuing planning for two other modules - one perhaps, in western Maine, and another, a fourth, in eastern Maine."

Shah was asked whether Maine is doing antibody testing to get a better sense of who might have been infected with COVID-19 and either recovered or didn't show symptoms. He said it's too soon, but said the state is eager for such tests. 

This story will be updated.