Maine reported seven more deaths and 405 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, the second-highest daily case number since the pandemic took hold in March.
The state shattered its one-day record on Monday, with 427 new cases.
Since the pandemic began, there have been 14,454 cases of COVID-19, and 246 deaths. The seven-day average of daily new cases stood at 321.9 on Wednesday, compared to 169.4 a week ago and 158.6 a month ago.
Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention director, will brief the media at 2 p.m. today.
Maine continues to fare better than most states, but only because the virus spread is getting much worse everywhere. Maine had the second-lowest virus prevalence in the country on Tuesday, according to the Harvard Global Health Institute, at 19.3 virus cases per 100,000 residents on a seven-day rolling average. Only Hawaii was lower with a rate of 6.9. Twenty-six states had rates at least five times higher than Maine’s, and Alaska’s rate, the worst in the nation, was 196.7 cases per 100,000 residents on Tuesday.
On Monday, in light of the increasing cases in Maine, the Maine CDC scaled back contact tracing, cutting tracing of close contacts for those who have COVID-19 roughly in half. Everyone who tests positive will still receive an initial phone call from the health agency, but those who don’t fall into certain groups – such as those age 65 or older or 18 and younger and other vulnerable or prioritized groups – will be asked to notify close contacts on their own.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills also recently extended a 9 p.m. curfew for some businesses, such as indoor dining at restaurants, and movie theaters, through the end of the year, in an attempt to curb transmission.