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WATCH: COVID-19 Cases in Maine Rise To 275, Maine CDC Director Says

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Nick Woodward
/
Maine Public

Updated March 30, 2020 at 12:58 p.m. ET.

Maine now has 275 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, 22 more since yesterday. That's according to Maine Center for Disease Control Director Dr. Nirav Shah.At an Augusta press briefing Monday morning, Shah said 49 of those 275 are hospitalized, and another 41  have recovered and been released from isolation. The death tally in Maine remains at three, Shah said. The average age of those who have been infected is 55, he said.

Shah said 43 cases have been found in health care workers in various facilities, and the CDC is investigating how they were exposed.

Of the 275 cases, 154 occurred in Cumberland County and 53 in York County, where Shah has said the disease is spreading via community transmission. Community transmission is when disease is spread within the community, versus from travel or from contact with a person with COVID-19.

Shah said the CDC is also trying to trace the origin of 12 cases in Penobscot County.  "And our investigation is under way to determine whether those 12 cases may represent community transmission." More than 6,000 tests have come back negative, Shah said.

Shah said state officials are particularly concerned about the spread of the disease in so-called congregate settings, such as nursing home and shelters, "partially because of the physical design of many of these facilities and  also because they may be older individuals or individuals and with pre-existing conditions."

In addition to six cases previously identified at an assisted living community in Falmouth, Shah said three cases have turned up at a group home in Freeport, and three single cases have been identified at three other congregate settings.

"Recent data suggests that when COVID-19 is introduced into those settings it can spread very quickly, " he said.

Community transmission is when disease is spread within the community, versus from travel or from contact with a person with COVID-19.