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Maine Reports 1 More Death, 41 New Cases Of COVID-19 And A New Outbreak

Nick Woodward
Maine Public
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah at a media briefing April 7, 2020.

The Maine Center for Disease Control is reporting 41 new cases of COVID-19 and another death that bring the total number of fatalities to 95 and cases to 2,418.At a briefing Wednesday, Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said the state is investigating a new outbreak at an Eldredge Lumber facility in York County, where 13 workers have tested positive. An investigation is trying to determine how the workers got sick.

“One of our key questions is whether the work site was the location where transmission occurred, or whether independent of the work site, individuals contracted COVID-19 and happened to work in the same location together,” Shah said.

Shah said testing is underway at the facility, and the state is working with Eldredge Lumber on health and safety measures.

Shah said in the past week in Maine, there's been an increase in tests of about 20%, for a total of 9,844. Of those, he said, 9,090 are PCR tests, which are more reliable than antibody tests. Shah said the "positivity rate" for those tests is just below 5% cumulatively, and 3.5% in the past week.

The positivity rate is a key metric for public health officials in determining whether the volume of testing is on the right track.

“It tells us, among other things, whether the net that we are casting with our testing is broad enough,” Shah said.

Shah said the person who died overnight was a man in his 70s from Knox County.

"This individual's death marks first death in Knox County," he said.

Shah said of the 285 people who have been hospitalized, 44 remain, with 14 in intensive care beds and 10 on ventilators. Still, Wednesday marks the second consecutive day of a decline in hospitalizations, and a total of 1,699 people have recovered from the disease, 53 more than yesterday.

Of Maine's 41 new cases, 23 are in Cumberland County, and 12 in Androscoggin County.

He said the state did receive the feds promised shipment of another four cases of the antivirual drug remdesivir, which he said have been distributed to Maine facilities.

Maine Public reporter Steve Mistler contributed to this story.

Updated June 3, 2020 at 2:43 p.m. ET.