In Tuesday's Maine CDC briefing, Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said that a COVID case spike is underway in Maine.

Over the past three days, the Maine CDC has reported 174 new cases of COVID-19 with Maine's positivity rate increasing from 0.45% two weeks ago, to 0.66% percent today.

"The increase we've seen in our positivity rate, coupled with a relative stable testing volume, also means that more transmission of COVID-19 is occuring in Maine," said Dr, Shah. "The spike that we have foreshadowed is happening."

Shah expects new daily cases to remain in the 50 to 60 range and possibly higher over the next several days, even though the number of tests remains approximately the same day to day.

According to the the Maine CDC's Tuesday update, the cumulative number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Maine is now at 6,311, an increase of 57 since Monday. 5,593 of those cases are confirmed while 718 are deemed probable.

There were no new deaths reported of an individual with COVID-19 for the tenth day in a row, keeping the total at 146. 479 patients have had to be hospitalized at some point. 12 are currently hospitalized with 7 in intensive care and none on a ventilator.

5,398 people diagnosed with COVID-19 have recovered, an increase of 36 since Monday. The total number of diagnosed active cases of COVID-19 is 766, the highest number of active cases in Maine since the pandemic began. According to the Portland Press Herald, this does not indicate an epidemiological trend, however the seven day daily case average in Maine is trending upward.

An outbreak of COVID-19 linked to a Maine church that held a fellowship rally in early October has seen cases grow quickly. According to News Center Maine, the number of cases linked to Brooks Pentecostal Church in Brooks, Maine is now at 60 with one of those 60 currently in the hospital.

About 100 to 150 people from several different churches in the Waldo County area attended the fellowship rally from October 2 to October 4 where masks were available, but not widely used. The Brooks Church itself held services some time after the rally with approximately 70 to 100 gathering indoors where masks were once again available but not widely used. Services are now temporarily suspended at the church.

Governor Mills has extended the State of Emergency in Maine through October 29, allowing Maine to continue to receive federal funding and use available resources to respond to COVID-19.

An executive order remains in place requiring large retail stores, lodging, restaurants, outdoor bars and tasting rooms to enforce the state's face covering requirement.

If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, including a runny nose, sore throat, dry cough, fever and in severe cases, difficulty breathing, the Maine CDC says you should call your doctor before going in so that they can prepare for your arrival. The Maine CDC continues to update with new information daily. Keep checking on our mobile app or website to get the latest.

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