LEWISTON — On March 10, an Auburn woman who had flown home from Italy tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first confirmed case in Maine, after her visit to a Lewiston hospital.

Since then, the numbers of people in Androscoggin County who’ve tested positive for the virus has risen to 139, including five new cases reported Monday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention.

As of two weeks ago, Androscoggin County had 60 confirmed cases of COVID-19. By May 13, that number had climbed to 103 cases. In the past just five days, the number had risen by an additional 36 cases, including a spike on Sunday, when 14 new cases were added to the total, according to data collected by Maine CDC.

Robert Long, spokesman for Maine CDC, explained the reason for the rise in cases may be twofold: “The increase in the number of confirmed cases in Androscoggin County is consistent with what happens in counties with community transmission,” he said Monday. “It also could correlate with an overall increase in testing.”

An outbreak detected over the weekend at Clover Manor, a nursing home in Auburn, included one resident and three staff. That outbreak prompted universal testing at the facility of 550 people who had reportedly  been tested as of Monday, according to Maine CDC.

Androscoggin County is one of four counties in the state where epidemiologists have confirmed the spread of the virus through community transmission, meaning there is no clear source of infection in an certain area.

The other three Maine counties where community transmission has been observed are Cumberland, Penobscot and York, the state’s more populous counties.

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