Eighty new cases of COVID-19, probably the largest outbreak of new cases since May of 2020 in Maine, were announced by Dr. Nirav Shah, Director of the MaineCDC at his regularly scheduled Thursday briefing – this afternoon. That brings the total number of Maine cases to 6,467.
On October 28, at an impromptu briefing, Dr. Shah announced seventy-six new cases of the virus – for a total of 6,387 cases.
Headlining the briefing was the news that Pat’s Pizza, 30 Market Street, in the Old Port has reported ten cases of the coronavirus. The origins of the outbreak appear to stem from two small gatherings that occurred earlier this month; one on October 16th and the other on October 22nd. No details on what Pat’s is doing to correct the situation were available at the briefing. Mhn.com has called Pat’s to determine what steps are being taken to correct the situation. No response has been received yet from Pat’s.
Mhn.com stopped in at Pat’s on Market Street later in the day – following the above. The kitchen manager on duty said she had no comment on what was happening at Pat’s. She made it clear she did not want to be interviewed. A former customer of Pat’s said that Pat’s has earned a reputation for being reckless and making no effort to comply with MaineCDC guidelines. It was her information that Pat’s has received warnings about its failure to comply with state guidelines from the CDC.
Upon questioning, Commissioner Lambrew said that a letter informing a business in Hermon of MaineCDC’s guidelines for large gatherings was sent. That letter prompted it, Greenway Equipment Sales, to cancel the planned Trump campaign rally there today. Instead, an evangelical church in Orrington, led by Rev. Ken Graves, will be holding the rally in that location. Graves has unsuccessfully sued Governor Mills for her restrictions on large gatherings. The case is being appealed to the federal appeals court in Boston.
Dr. Shah emphasized, again, that the rise in outbreaks is from small, indoor gatherings rather than large gatherings as has been the rule in the past. When indoors with others, Dr. Shah advised the public to wear face masks, ventilate rooms with open windows and shorten the duration of visits, as well as practice social distancing, wash hands, etc. “Be kind to others,” he urged everyone.