At his daily late morning COVID-19 briefing today, Dr. Nirav Shah, Director of Maine’s CDC, stated that within the last hour and 1/2 Maine has received its allotment of rapid response machines manufactured in Scarborough. Dr. Shah said that fifteen of these machines had been received and because of the massive reduction in the number ordered and received, the MaineCDC will have to figure out how to best use them.
Governor Janet Mills has lobbied the federal government for Maine to receive its requested allotment to provide adequate rapid respond testing. This will help prevent Maine from becoming a “hotspot” as other states have become. These rapid response testing machines are important to help conserve the supply of PPE, an entity already in short supply, as well as other obvious justifications. (Please see previous post for more information on this subject).
At the outset of the briefing, Dr. Shah announced that there have been two additional deaths since yesterday – bringing the total up to fourteen deaths. One of the deaths was of a woman in her 80s from Waldo County. The second death came from a man in his 80s from Cumberland County. It was not revealed whether these individuals lived in “congregate” housing and whether or not they had underlining health issues. Congregate housing has been highlighted as an incubator for the coronavirus attributed to community engagement.
The Republican Press Herald today reported that the MaineCDC does not on any one day have data on how many individuals are hospitalized – trying to suggest a lack of competency in the process that the downsizing daily can exploit. The front page, lead article was written by Colin Woodard, staff writer. In response to a question from the press, Dr. Shah responded that this lack of daily hospital information has been a “challenge” across the country. It has been suggested elsewhere that some hospitals are overwhelmed trying to keep up with patient care. “We look at cumulative data, not day-to-day,” said Dr. Shah to the questioner. Colin Woodard has been the major conduit to the Senator Susan Collins (R) re-election campaign, writing numerous positive articles about her for the RPH in the recent past. Woodard has maintained an almost exclusive access to the Collins re-election campaign on behalf of the RPH.
“There is one group of individuals that “don’t get recognized enough” during this pandemic. “That group is each and everyone of us. Everyone has had their lives upended and quickly. I want to thank every person in Maine for flattening the curve. No one thanks you for cancelling a child’s birthday party or cancelling your wedding. We’ve asked you to stay inside and you’ve done that,” Dr. Shah stated.