AUGUSTA — During a briefing Tuesday, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Nirav Shah discussed the influence that out of state residents have had on Maine’s COVID-19 numbers.
According to Shah, there are instances of people bringing COVID-19 to Maine from outside the state but it’s not in as big of a quantity as one would think.
“There have been 181 individuals with an out of state residents who have tested positive in Maine. All told there have been 3,825 total tests conducted on out of state residents and again 181 of those have been positive,” Shah said.
In total, those 181 positive results are part of the 191,000 total tests that have been reported to the Maine CDC since the pandemic began.
Shah said the reason that less than 1 percent of all the COVID-19 tests have resulted in positive cases from people coming from outside the state is that people are mostly following Gov. Janet Mills’ executive travel order.
“Individuals who are coming here from one of the states where a negative test is required or a 14-day quarantine is required should either have a negative test in hand or if they’re waiting for their results, should be in quarantine until such time until that result comes back as negative,” he said.
He added the only issue is that there is no way currently to fully track people who test positive in other states, so it is possible for cases to be brought to Maine, as evidenced by the 181 positive results from out of state residents.
“We have not seen systematic evidence of an individual from other states have tested positive who then came here and then caused outbreaks here in Maine. It could happen, to be sure. But thus far in the summer, we haven t seen evidence of those outbreaks,” Shah said.