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Health

Maine CDC Expands Testing As 204 COVID-19 Cases Are Added Monday

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Robert F. Bukaty
/
Associated Press
A worker wears a mask to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus while hauling containers from paper shredding truck, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, in Portland, Maine.

Maine is expanding testing for COVID-19 through two new mobile Swab and Send sites. The announcement comes as the Maine CDC adds 204 cases of COVID-19 to the state's total on Monday.

Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew announced that a site opened Monday at the Portland Jetport, where testing will be available for both inbound travelers and the public. An additional testing site will open Friday at the Downtown Auburn Transportation Center.

“At a time of rising COVID-19 cases in Maine, these new testing sites are especially important in identifying and isolating people with this contagious and deadly disease,” she said.

Standard PCR tests are free at both locations. The Abbott ID NOW rapid test will also be available at the Jetport for $25. Appointments can be made online at CovidTestforME.com.

In all, 7,897 Mainers have been diagnosed with the disease. No new deaths were reported Monday — that number holds steady at 152.

Six-thousand twenty people have recovered, leaving 1,725 active cases.

The state’s positivity rate has more than tripled over the past two weeks, from 0.6 to 2.14. And the hospitalization rate has also more than tripled. Maine CDC director Dr. Nirav Shah said his biggest concern for the state is unchecked community transmission.

“What has started to happen is that the ground in Maine has been seeded with a lot of COVID cases. And what I’m concerned about, as with any seeding, is that there will now start to be clumps, outbreaks, that pop up across the state,” he said.

The state CDC has opened new outbreak investigations at the Kids Peace residential facility in Ellsworth, Ruby’s Wood Grill in York, Portland Pie in Windham, and the Pentecostals of Jonesport church. Meanwhile, existing outbreaks at two nursing homes have grown. At Russell Park in Lewiston, there are now 72 cases. At Durgin Pines in Kittery, there are 33 cases.