The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday reported 25 cases of the novel coronavirus and no additional deaths, as health officials warn of community spread in York County and increased danger of transmission in Oxford County schools.

Maine’s cumulative cases rose to 5,260. Of those, 4,713 have been confirmed by testing and 547 are considered probable cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

One hundred forty people have died with COVID-19 in Maine, and 4,538 have recovered from the disease. Maine had 582 active cases on Saturday.

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, warned on Thursday that York County is showing signs of community transmission – spread of the virus that comes from casual contact between community members, rather than from specific, known outbreaks.

“That is concerning because those are the preconditions for exponential growth,” Shah said during a briefing. “So we’ve got an ever-shrinking window in which to get a lid on what is happening in York County. And if we are not successful in doing so, that pattern of transmission … could quickly lead to exponential growth.”

Maine still has lower rates of COVID-19 infection than most other states, but York County is the outlier – and its case load is building. This past week, new outbreaks were reported at Sanford High School, Sanford Regional Technical Center, the Sanford Wolves Club, Hussey Seating Co. in North Berwick and the Ogunquit Beach Lobster House.

Neighboring Oxford County also is seeing a rise in cases. Over the last two weeks, the rate of new cases per 10,000 residents jumped from 4.66 to 10.69 – more than double. State education officials on Friday moved the county’s school preparedness rating to “yellow” from “green,” and recommended that schools move away from in-person instruction.

Oxford County has seen a significant outbreak at the ND Paper mill in Rumford, where at least 16 employees have tested positive and one has died.

The University of Maine System on Saturday announced it had conducted its first round of random testing across its eight campuses, finding no positive cases of COVID-19 among 704 students and employees. The university system plans to conduct more rounds of random testing every 10 days until Thanksgiving break, when students will return to remote instruction for the semester, according to a news release Saturday.

Like many other institutions of higher education, the University of Maine System also is testing wastewater on its campuses for COVID-19. Testing results across the university system indicate a very low case rate for COVID-19, officials said. Out of 14,809 tests conducted by the system at the start of the fall semester, about 0.09 percent were positive, compared to Maine’s overall positive rate of about 0.5 percent and the national rate of 5 percent.

“We are off to a great start but we still have nine weeks of in-person instruction left to go in the semester,” Chancellor Dannel Malloy said in a statement Saturday. “We can’t let up now with our screening, our safety practices, and our pledges to each other if we want to keep COVID-19 contained on our campuses and in our communities.”

County by county in Maine since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 706 COVID-19 cases in Androscoggin, 43 in Aroostook, 2,306 in Cumberland, 62 in Franklin, 54 in Hancock, 214 in Kennebec, 36 in Knox, 42 in Lincoln, 140 in Oxford, 253 in Penobscot, nine in Piscataquis, 66 in Sagadahoc, 85 in Somerset, 73 in Waldo, 16 in Washington, and 1,153 in York.

By age, 11.4 percent of patients were under 20, while 16.8 percent were in their 20s, 15.4 percent were in their 30s, 14.3 percent were in their 40s, 15.9 percent were in their 50s, 11.6 percent were in their 60s, 7.4 percent were in their 70s, and 7.2 percent were 80 or over.

Women still make up a slight majority of cases, at just over 51 percent.

Maine’s hospitals had eight patients with COVID-19 on Saturday, of whom one was in intensive care and none were on ventilators. The state had 111 intensive care unit beds available of a total 380, and 253 ventilators available of 317. There were also 444 alternative ventilators.

Around the world on Saturday afternoon, there were 32.6 million known cases of COVID-19 and more than 990,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States had over 7 million cases and 204,249 deaths.

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