Maine reports another death and 29 new COVID-19 cases, 18 in York County – Press Herald

Maine reported another death and 29 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, including 18 in York County, which remains a hotspot for new infections.

Cumberland County reported only two new cases.

A man stands outside Portland Museum of Art, which recently reopened. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

The 7-day daily average of new cases of 30.4 has doubled when compared to mid-August, when the 7-day average was about 15, but the average has remained at about 30 over the past week.

Since the pandemic began, 5,106 have contracted COVID-19, and 140 have died.

Much of the growth in cases in York County has been linked to a crowded wedding reception in the Millinocket area, where attendees were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing. The event has directly or indirectly led to at least 177 cases and, as of Saturday, eight deaths.

York County outbreaks have been recorded at the county jail, Calvary Baptist Church, five social clubs in the Sanford area, Sanford High School and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery.

Sanford High School moved to all-remote learning on Monday in response to the outbreak, and York County schools have been designated “yellow” under the state’s color-coded advisory system for school reopening. All fall sports in York County have been put on hold as a result of the outbreaks and spiking case numbers.

The Millinocket-area wedding and reception took place on Aug. 7, and is now linked to 177 cases and eight deaths. Since late August, Maine state officials have stepped up enforcement for pandemic-era business regulations, issuing citations to 14 establishments for “imminent health hazards” related to virus control.

Meanwhile, Falmouth High School reported its first case of COVID-19, but the school’s hybrid plan will continue based on advice from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a letter by Superintendent Geoff Bruno posted on the Falmouth schools website.

The person presented symptoms late Thursday night and did not attend school on Friday,” according to the letter from Bruno. “The person has not entered the school campus since Tuesday (Sept. 15), more than 48 hours prior to becoming symptomatic. Typically, the infectious period (symptomatic cases) is two days before symptom onset, per CDC. We are pleased that our screening system was effective: the person was contacted, kept out of school, and tested for COVID 19.”

This story will be updated.