The number of new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Maine decreased over Thursday's number, but Maine's CDC director says it's too early to tell if this is a flattening of the curve.

Dr. Nirav Shah reported Friday that the number of COVID-10 cases in Maine is now is at 56, which is an increase of 8 new cases since Thursday.

That number can be confusing though as yesterday's cases were 52. 3 cases from Thursday turned out to be out of state residents and 1 was a clerical error where one test turned out to be positive on a patient and then the test administered by the CDC turned out to be negative. This is where the presumptive positive cases that are announced could be changed to negative after the Maine CDC laboratory tests.

Most cases are are in Cumberland County where the virus is spreading by community transmission, which is transmission from someone with the virus who had no known contact with another confirmed case or traveled from a country affected by the pandemic.

There have been 2264 negative test results.

Today, the Maine CDC is distributing 400 gloves, 700 face shields, 2695 masks, over 1100 tie back suits almost 900 gowns and 600 shoe covers to first responders and health care providers across the state so they can be protected.

An Executive Order from Governor Mills still stands for all restaurants and bars to close their dining rooms and offer take-out, delivery or drive-thru only for customers. She also prohibited all gatherings of more than 10 people until further notice and urged businesses like gyms, theaters, and shopping malls, to close for the next two weeks in an effort to minimize public gatherings.

If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, including a runny nose, sore throat, dry cough, fever and in severe cases, difficulty breathing, the Maine CDC says you should call your doctor before going in so that they can prepare for your arrival.

Social distancing is the key to flattening out the curve of the spread of the coronavirus, a point Dr Shah stressed it vitally important for Mainers to practice. A low curve means that the virus is spreading slowly which gives doctors more time and resources to treat more people. The higher the curve, the most people get sick at once and medical facilities get overwhelmed.

The Maine CDC continues to update with new information at least once a day. Keep checking on our mobile app or website to get the latest.

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