Data from Maine CDC.

Hospital reports new COVID-19 case, nonresident test count updated

BAR HARBOR — On Aug. 18, Mount Desert Island Hospital reported a new positive test for the virus that causes COVID-19 from a sample taken at its testing center, the first for the facility since mid-July. 

The person tested was a Hancock County resident who was showing symptoms of the disease, hospital spokesperson Oka Hutchins said, and was not a participant in the asymptomatic employee testing program for tourism workers. That program continues to have a zeropositivity rate. 

The hospital is reporting a total of four positive test results among Hancock County residents, Hutchins said. That number now includes both year-round and seasonal residents. “Prior to Aug. 11, only year-round residents were counted in our Hancock County tally,” she said. “We made this adjustment at the state’s recommendation in order to best facilitate effective tracking and contact tracing for our community.” 

Kids Corner, the early childhood education center in Bar Harbor, closed briefly last week out of an abundance of caution when two employees showed symptoms of what turned out to be summer colds, Conners Emerson School Principal Barb Neilly said Monday. 

A secretary at Conners Emerson is isolating at home after having been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case earlier this month, the weekend after the last day she was at work, according to an email from Neilly to school families. 

The members of her household have tested negative and they are voluntarily remaining in quarantine for the recommended 14day period,” Neilly wrote. The employee is set to return to school Aug. 30. 

Total cases among Hancock County residents have risen by 20 in the month of August, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control. Many of those cases were associated with outbreaks at agricultural facilities, but two new resident cases were reported Aug. 18, two more Friday, one Saturday and one Tuesday. The county has now had a total of 46 confirmed or probable resident cases, six of which are reported as currently active. 

The Maine CDC is also reporting an increase in positive COVID-19 test results for people who are not Maine residents. The number of nonresident tests being performed has climbed, too. 

On Tuesday, Aug. 11, the state reported 181 positive results out of 3,825 total tests of nonresidents since the pandemic began. A week later, on Aug. 18, that number rose to 194 positive results from 5,400 total tests, a rate of 1.9 new nonresident test results per day. 

As of Aug. 21, the CDC reported a total of 213 positive results out of 6,243 total tests of nonresidents, a rate of 6 per day in the previous three days. On Tuesday, the total was 217, four new cases and a rate of 1.3 per day. 

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah has said that these numbers represent a number of positive tests, not of people or of cases. Some of the nonresidents included are New Hampshire residents who regularly get their healthcare in Maine. 

In late July, MDI Hospital reported having heard from several people who neither live in Maine nor were tested in Maine, but who received positive test results after arriving here on vacation. There had been as many as 35 of these since the pandemic began, hospital officials said, but no new reports of that type had been received. 

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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