Maine reports another 27 COVID-19 cases

Maine reported 27 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, and no additional deaths.

After accounting for previously-reported probable COVID-19 cases that turned out to be negative, Maine had a net increase of 20 cases on Tuesday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Spikes in statewide cases in September raised alarms among public health experts, including two days of daily cases in the 50s and three days when cases topped 40.

But through the first six days of October, daily case counts have stayed in the 20s and 30s, with three of the past four days in the 20s.

Two women stand outside Captain Sam’s Ice Cream on Commercial Street in Portland. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine CDC director, will brief the media at 2 p.m.

York County, which has been the epicenter of outbreaks in recent weeks, recorded five new cases on Tuesday, while Cumberland County, the state’s most populous, had four new cases. Androscoggin County reported five new cases.

Since the pandemic began, Maine has tracked 5,565 cases of COVID-19, with 142 deaths.

Meanwhile, President Trump, who has contracted COVID-19, returned to the White House on Monday evening after spending three days at Walter Reed Medical Center with COVID-19 symptoms. In a tweet on Tuesday morning, Trump incorrectly suggested influenza was deadlier than COVID-19. Public health experts say initial research has shown COVID-19 to be at least several times more deadly than influenza, and the experience in the United States this year seems to bear that out.

The U.S. typically has between 12,000 and 61,000 deaths caused by influenza every flu season, which runs from October to May, according to the U.S. CDC.

So far, COVID-19 has caused about 210,000 deaths in the United States, despite lockdowns being in place during the spring and other measures in place to limit the spread, such as wearing masks, physical distancing and testing. Influenza has a vaccine which is typically about 40 to 60 percent effective because there are many different flu strains and scientists must try to predict what strains will be circulating months in advance.

Scientists are working on several promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates. A vaccine could be approved by the Food and Drug Administration later this fall, with possibly widespread distribution in 2021.

This story will be updated.

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