OXFORD HILLS — Oxford Hills communities continue to report low to no detected cases of coronavirus, two months after Governor Janet Mills declared a civil emergency and closed down non-essential businesses and organizations in response to the virus.

A small spike of about 10 cases was reported during the last week of May when wide-scale testing finally became available in Maine. But through the first two weeks in June the total number of illnesses has not exceeded 34. The Maine Center for Disease Control reports that there are currently six active cases in Oxford county, even as the county was green-lighted to start reopening its economy May 1.

All the communities in the Oxford Hills region have reported at least one instance of COVID-19. The Maine CDC is releasing illness data in ranges by zip code. In the northern region of the county many towns have no detected cases, including Rumford where more than 650 people are employed at the ND Paper-Rumford Mill.

That Oxford Hills has been contained to fewer than three dozen cases, despite sharing boundaries with towns in counties where most of the state’s infections have been concentrated, is due to residents following proper social distancing protocols, according to CDC Spokesman Robert Long.

“Community transmission – defined as ‘people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected’ – has not been confirmed in Oxford County,” said Long. “But as Dr. Norav Shah has noted in his CDC briefing, residences of people who test positive for COVID-19 is not a valid indicator for risk of potential exposure.

“The virus will still travel wherever people can travel.”


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