State health officials said Friday they have confirmed that community transmission of COVID-19 is now occurring in Penobscot County.

Penobscot County, where Bangor is the county seat, joins Cumberland and York counties as the three Maine counties in which "community transmission" has taken place. Androscoggin County is also on the list.

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control, made the announcement on Friday.

A  county is found to have "community transmission" of the disease when it has at least 10 cases, 25 percent of which are not traced back to another known case or to travel to an affected area.

In Penobscot County, there are currently 33 cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. That's two more cases than the previous day.

There have been no deaths in Penobscot County. There have been 17 deaths statewide.

As of April 10, there were 586 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Maine, according to official state statistics. That represents 26 new cases from the previous day. There have been 111 Mainers hospitalized at some point in the course of their illness. There are currently 57 people in Maine being hospitalized.

The disease is present in 15 of Maine's 16 counties, with Piscataquis County the exception.

State health officials asked all Mainers, but particularly those in more populated areas, to stay inside -- and avoid physical contact with others -- to help reduce the spread of the disease.

"Do your part," Gov. Janet Mills said Friday, stressing the importance of physical distancing. "Stay apart."

Here's more advice issued by the Maine CDC:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Stay home while you're sick and avoid close contact with others
Maine CDC
Maine CDC

You can watch the most recent CDC news conference below.

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