ELLSWORTH — The coronavirus has not reached Hancock County after all, at least as of Friday morning.
“There was a case in Hancock County that seemed to disappear,” said Dr. Nariv Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, during a briefing Friday, March 20. The Hancock County case was reported during the March 19 briefing.
Whenever a new case is presented, an epidemiologist is assigned to investigate the case. Although the individual was diagnosed in Hancock County, it turns out the person is a resident of Penobscot County, Shah said.
The total number of cases in Maine stands at 56 as of Friday morning. This represents eight new cases. Thursday’s total of 52 included four cases that have been taken off the books.
“One of the cases was the result of a clerical error,” Shah said, explaining a test at an outside lab was positive but, when repeated at the state lab, had a negative result.
Because three previously reported cases involve out-of-state residents, those cases have been transferred to the individuals’ home states.
“This is just a bookkeeping change. It’s done just to keep states from counting the same case twice,” Shah said.
“Some” of those three cases involve people still in Maine while “others” have returned home. Shah didn’t specify how many were still in Maine or have left.
Of the 56 total existing cases, 44 are confirmed and 12 are presumptive positives, meaning positive test results from other labs have yet to be confirmed by the state lab.
At 35, Cumberland County continues to have the highest number of cases. There are five in York County, four each in Kennebec and Lincoln counties, three in Androscoggin, two in Penobscot and one in Oxford. Shah said the county of residence of the two remaining cases was still unknown at that time.
A total of 2,265 tests in Maine were negative.