Dr. Nirav Shah, Director of Maine CDC, announced today there have been 212 cases of COVID-19 in Maine schools during the last thirty (30) days. That figure represents students, teachers and staff. He emphasized that this illustrates there has been a low transmission rate in schools. It’s important to keep our children in school and so far it is working well Dr. Shah said.
He reported 173 new cases of the COVID-19 since yesterday – bringing the total number of cases up to 9,117 individuals. There have been three deaths since yesterday; all three senior citizens and none in Cumberland County. That information brings the total number of deaths up to 165.
The positivity rate in testing for the last seven days is 2.69%, which is the same as yesterday, but up slightly from the last post herein.
Dr. Shah reported that investigations have opened up at Cove’s Edge in Damariscotta where four staff members have contracted COVID-19. In the last 72 hours, fourteen new outbreaks have been opened. These outbreaks have occurred in long term care facilities, schools and social clubs. “The outbreak is across the spectrum. It’s no longer, avoid these kinds of places.” The cases are all coming from within Maine. There is no indication of cases coming from out-of-state he said.
The news that Moderna’s vaccine has 94.5% effectiveness has been greeted with smiles all around. Dr. Fauci called it “truly outstanding.” However, Dr. Shah said no one should rely on press releases alone. One advantage of the Moderna vaccine is that it’s storage does not require the ultra-cold storage that is required by Pfizer’s vaccine. That would be an advantage for distribution in rural areas of the state where ultra-cold storage would be more challenging to arrange. Dr. Shah did say that orders have been placed, however, for ultra-cold storage refrigeration when Pfizer’s vaccine arrives in Maine. Initial doses of the vaccine will be available to health care workers and responders. It will be many months before it is widely available – to the general public.
In conclusion, Dr. Shah said that the effects of the COVID-19 first identified earlier this year are back. Depression and isolation are among them. He urged the public to be sure to be “connected to someone else. If you know someone is alone, reach out to that person,” he urged.
The next MaineCDC briefing is scheduled for Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 2:00 pm. It can be viewed on Maine Public Television. The briefing is subject to last minute changes in scheduling.