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.

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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.

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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.

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