Maine pandemic updates: testing delays, low hospitalizations, few non-residents testing positive

A few recent updates on the pandemic situation in Maine:

Major national testing labs have been overwhelmed by the pandemic’s surge in the Deep South and El Norte, and that’s caused one to two week delays in getting COVID-19 results via many Maine providers who rely on these labs, including CVS, Maine Urgent Care, and Intermed. Fortunately, the state’s strategy of increasing in-state capacity has limited the damage. The story is in tomorrow’s Press Herald.

As of last Thursday, COVID-19 hospitalizations had hit a record low in Maine. That’s great news in a state that has the third lowest per capita prevalence of the disease in the country. This usually lags exposures by two or three weeks and is not effected by how much and how well you do testing, so is a very solid indication that Maine was doing well at the end of June. I’ll have a fresh update on this metric tomorrow.

And as of July 18 — the latest date the Maine CDC could provide data for — the number of non-residents testing positive remained low, and increasing at a rate of only 0.7 per day since the start of July. This is also welcome news as the most likely way in which the pandemic could turn worse here is via the introduction of infections from high prevalence regions to our south during the summer tourist season,.