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Health

Two More Mainers Die, Another 18 Test Positive For COVID-19

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Maine Public

Two more people have died, and another 18 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Maine.

Maine Center for Disease Control Director Dr. Nirav Shah says that brings the total number of confirmed cases to 537, and total number of deaths to 14.

"On a day when nearly 13,000 other families across the country are grieving the loss of their loved ones, we all add and offer our condolences to the families of these two individuals."

Shah says the two who died were a woman in her 80s from Waldo County and a man in his 80s from Cumberland County.

Shah also says the state received 15 testing machines from Abbott Laboratories Wednesday designed to rapidly test for COVID-19. But The agency had also ordered 100 test kits that contain the needed chemicals, and recieved only five of those.

"So the fact we got much, much less than we initially thought and told we would be getting, we're going back to the drawing board today to get a better sense of what the best strategy for those machines will be. "

The CDC says the disconnect in test kit availability stems from information distributed by the federal government. The tests were hailed as a potential game-changer when Abbott announced last month that they had received approval to manufacture the tests. The company, which has a facility in Scarborough, projected that it would produce 1 million tests per month.

Steve Mistler contributed to this story.