BAR HARBOR — Mount Desert Island Hospital is reporting 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 zero positivity rate.
The hospital is reporting a total of four positive test results among Hancock County; as of the week of Aug. 11, Hutchins said, the hospital’s Hancock County total includes both year-round and seasonal residents. “Prior to August 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.”
Total cases among Hancock County residents have risen by 18 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 Tuesday and two more today. The county has now had a total of 44 confirmed or probable resident cases, nine of which are reported as currently active.
The Maine CDC is also reporting an increase in positive COVID 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.
Today the CDC is reporting a total of 213 positive results out of 6,243 total tests of nonresidents, a rate of 6 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 as of Aug. 18 no new reports of that type had been received.