ELLSWORTH — For several days starting Feb. 15, those who follow the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data will see a significant increase in daily COVID-19 case counts, Maine CDC Communications Director Robert Long warned.
The increase is due to the Maine CDC’s processing of the backlog of positive test results that accumulated from the omicron surge, Long explained.
Following that announcement, the Maine CDC reported on Feb. 15 that 10,968 cases had been added, along with 21 deaths.
On Feb. 2, Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah announced the backlog of positive test results waiting to be processed had reached 58,000.
Shah explained at the time that the people associated with those positive cases had been notified by the Maine CDC, but the administrative process of turning a positive test into a “case” had not been completed.
Long explained that a new system has been launched to automate part of the processing.
As a result, Long stated that “Deaths, hospitalizations and wastewater screening data remain the best metrics to determine the evolving impact of COVID-19,” which is news Shah has been sharing for several weeks.
While case counts will remain very high as the tests are processed, hospitalizations continue to decrease.
On Feb. 15, there were 260 patients hospitalized with COVID, 64 of whom were in critical care and 27 of whom were on ventilators.