The Maine Center for Disease Control Sunday confirmed the second and third deaths of individuals who tested positive for COVID-19.
According to a press release from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, the individuals were a woman in her 80s and a man in his 60s, both from Cumberland County. They were both hospitalized at the times of their deaths.
In a press release, Gov. Janet Mills confirmed that the man in his 60s was a long-time employee of the Maine Department of Transportation and released a statement saying, "Those who serve the people of Maine in State government are not only dedicated public servants, they are family. Today, I am saddened to say that we have lost a member of that family."
Due to Maine privacy laws, the state is limiting further details, but the CDC said that based on the employee’s travel history, and the fact that he did not return to work after his vacation, the risk to other MaineDOT employees is extremely low.
The CDC also reported that there are now 253 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, a rise of 42 cases from Saturday's report. The DHHS reports that of those, 45 people have been hospitalized and 41 people have recovered.
On Saturday, Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah called the increase of cases "concerning," but also said that it was "consistent with the anticipated increase in cases as the spread of COVID-19 continues, both in terms of numbers as well as in geography.” He also said that testing labs are steadily reducing the backlogged number of tests in the state.
Friday, the Maine CDC confirmed the state’s first death of someone who had tested positive for COVID-19.
As of Sunday morning, the number of deaths caused by COVID-19 in the United States surpassed 2,100, and more than 124,000 people in the U.S. have been confirmed as infected. Nearly a third of the U.S. deaths were in New York City, and on Saturday President Donald Trump issued a travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The United States now has the most cases of any country in the world.
Originally published March 29, 2020 at 12:04 p.m. ET.