UPDATE: Second presumptive positive case for Lincoln County

Sun, 03/15/2020 - 5:30pm

UPDATE: According to Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday, Lincoln County has had a second presumptive positive test and the first has gone from presumptive positive to confirmed. The Center lists the county’s latest case as a male in his 40s.

Original post: A Lincoln County case was among new ones Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) announced Sunday related to the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Maine CDC received five new presumptive positive tests from a lab affiliated with MaineHealth. Those are now under review at the State’s Health and Environmental Testing Lab (HETL).

Samples that test positive at HETL will now be classified as confirmed cases, rather than presumptive positive cases, based on the U.S. CDC’s confidence in the state’s testing protocols. Tests conducted at outside labs that were previously classified as preliminary presumptive positive will now be identified as presumptive positive tests as they await confirmation.

The developments brought Maine up to five presumptive positive tests and seven confirmed cases.

The presumptive positive tests are for the following individuals:

Maine CDC has received a presumptive positive test result for a person under the age of 18, a male who resides in Cumberland County and is isolated at home. This is the state’s first presumptive positive test result for a person under 18. Maine CDC also received a presumptive positive test for a resident of Oceanview at Falmouth, a senior living community. The person is a male in his 80s. Maine CDC staff immediately contacted him, his medical provider, and the administration of the facility to investigate and mitigate potential exposures. He is hospitalized at Maine Medical Center. Staff, residents of the community, and their families are being notified. Maine CDC instructed the facility to begin symptom checks on all residents immediately as a precaution. Maine CDC is releasing this more detailed identifying information about this presumptive positive test because it could involve potential community spread. Maine CDC will release more detailed identifying information when it can be part of a strategy to help reduce potential community spread.

Maine CDC received presumptive positive test results for a woman in her 30s, a health care worker who resides in Lincoln County. Her employer has been contacted and steps have been taken to reduce exposure to patients, staff and other community members. She is isolated at home. Maine CDC received a presumptive positive test for a woman in her 70s from Cumberland County. She is isolated at home. And Maine CDC received a presumptive positive test for a male in his 40s from Cumberland County. He is isolated at home.

Affected people have been notified. More information will be released when it becomes available. Samples from these five people and other presumptive positive tests continue to be sent to Maine CDC for review.

HETL is receiving samples and conducting testing for COVID-19 seven days a week.

One case identified Friday as a preliminary presumptive positive has been reclassified as negative, based on Maine CDC’s review of a sample submitted by a lab affiliated with MaineHealth. Retesting yielded negative results, and U.S. CDC concurs with Maine CDC’s determination. This test result involved a woman in her 20s from York County, who was being cared for at MMC.

On Thursday, Gov. Janet Mills announced the state’s first presumptive positive test, a woman in her 50s from Androscoggin County. A second presumptive positive test involving a man in his 50s from Cumberland County was reported on Friday. These cases have been reclassified as confirmed. A third confirmed case is a woman in her 40s from Cumberland County who was a close household contact of the other confirmed case in Cumberland County.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, shortness of breath, and lower respiratory distress. People who exhibit those symptoms are advised to contact medical providers before going to a health care facility. Medical providers will make initial determinations about who should be tested.

Maine people can protect their health by taking the same preventive measures that help to avoid catching a cold: Wash your hands often for 20 seconds. Cover coughs and sneezes. Stay home if you are sick.

Mills announced three steps in response to the first presumptive positive test for COVID-19 in Maine. These steps include proclaiming an insurance emergency to improve access to care and require private health insurance plans to cover costs related to coronavirus testing; suspending all non-essential out-of-state work travel by state employees; and recommending, on the advice of Maine CDC, that non-essential large, indoor gatherings of 250 attendees or more be postponed to delay a potential coronavirus outbreak and substantially reduce its spread. She later updated the number of attendees from 250 to 50, or more than 10 if they include people at higher risk for severe illness, such as seniors, until further notice.

Mills has convened a Coronavirus Response Team, led by Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav D. Shahand and composed of key individuals in her Administration, to coordinate state government's response across departments and local agencies and health authorities to the threat of COVID-19. The response team builds on the work that has already been done by the Maine CDC to prepare for potential cases of COVID-19.

For more information: Contact 211 Maine for answers to frequently asked questions on COVID-19; dial 211 (or 1-866-811-5695); text your ZIP code to 898-211; email info@211maine.org

211 is TTY and Video Relay accessible if calling from Maine. Visit www.maine.gov/dhhs/coronavirus.