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Maine Among Two States with Lowest COVID Risk Levels


Thursday, July 30, 2020   

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Maine is one of two states with the lowest COVID-19 risk levels, according to new analysis from Harvard University.

The Harvard Global Health Institute and others, including Microsoft AI for Health, are tracking daily coronavirus cases across the country on an interactive map, where most states' case numbers are rising.

Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, Dr. Ashish Jha, said Maine and Vermont consistently have had the lowest COVID case counts per capita.

"The people who are going to be tempted to say, 'Well, they're a small state, they don't have a lot of people.' But let me tell you, there are a lot of small states that are also spread out, that have many, many, many more cases per capita than Maine does," Jha said.

Jha said Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming all have significantly higher numbers of COVID cases per capita. But he warned Maine must continue to be cautious if the state wants to remain in that safe zone.

He credits Gov. Janet Mills' vigilant approach with the small number of coronavirus cases in the state.

"It's very clear that the governor has taken it seriously and it's paid off," he said. "Those numbers begin to really look like the best European countries."

Right now, Maine has about 1.5 daily new cases per 100,000 people.

In March, Gov. Mills declared a civil state of emergency within three days of the state's first recorded case of COVID-19. The Legislature also abruptly ended its session, giving broad powers to Mills.

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