number of cases of COVID-19 in Maine is higher than the case numbers reported

Inundated with COVID-19 tests, Maine CDC forced to alter reporting methods

Mon, 12/28/2020 - 2:45pm

    AUGUSTA — With a daily influx of test results pouring into the Maine CDC, the state agency has been forced to alter its reporting methods. 

    “New positive COVID-19 lab reports are being received at a faster rate than Maine CDC has been able to review them to determine if the lab result reflects

    “(a) a new case of COVID-19 in Maine,

    “(b) a duplicate result (where the same person has already been counted as a case), or

    (c) an out-of-state resident,” according to the Maine CDC. “As a result, reported case numbers do not currently reflect the total number of people in Maine who have tested positive for COVID-19. At this time, the total number of cases of COVID-19 in Maine is higher than the case numbers shown here.” 

    Maine CDC reported Monday morning that the state, since March, has recorded 22,319 cumulative cases (an increase of 439 since yesterday) of which 19,128 cases are confirmed (an increase of 359) and 3,191 are probable cases (an increase of 80). 

    The Maine CDC has suspended updates on the number of active cases taking place throughout the state as the organization is presently unable to accurately update that data on a routine and consistent basis. 

    “Prior to November 25th, Maine CDC attempted multiple follow-up calls with every identified case of COVID-19 in Maine in order to assess whether their isolation period was completed,” said the organization. “Since that date, Maine CDC has not conducted routine follow-up calls with every identified case, so the count of people who have completed isolations is no longer [routinely] updated.”

    Furthermore, Maine CDC notes: “Starting December 5th, Maine CDC has focused its efforts to follow up with cases of COVID-19 on cases who are under the age of 19, over the age of 64, or who meet certain other criteria (including being hospitalized, identified as a minority, identified as having a disability, being a health care worker or first responder, living or working in congregate settings, or associated with a school or child care facility). Depending on available resources and case levels, Maine CDC may follow up with other cases who do not meet those criteria.” 

    In the Midcoast counties of Knox, Lincoln and Waldo counties, has observed minimal to no new recoveries for the area announced by Maine CDC repeatedly throughout the month, a sharp contrast to prior months when recoveries on many occasions either surpassed new cases in the Midcoast or nearly matched the number of new Midcoast cases.  

    In Monday’s update, Maine CDC reported 11,184 completed isolations, or recoveries, statewide since March. The update is only an increase of 34 since yesterday.