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Maine has gradually increased its 14-day quarantine requirements for out-of-state tourists, and travelers from five states (New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) are now allowed to enter the state without isolation or acquisition Quarantine proved that the coronavirus test was negative.
However, relaxing the rules is not without controversy. Last week, the Governor of Massachusetts questioned why his state was excluded from the list of states that could freely send travelers to Maine. The Boston Globe’s columnist wrote an interesting article titled “Maine, we used to be friends.”
In the peak tourist season, the loose restrictions on travellers are here, and businesses across Maine hope to salvage in the summer after losing business due to a pandemic shutdown. Maine has seen coronavirus cases rise slightly due to spread among young people. Outbreaks in some southern states have broken records.
Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Monday that when considering whether to allow travelers to enter the state, the agency tried to assess whether the conditions in each state were “as safe as Maine.”
Shah said that the two main indicators for evaluating this are the incidence and positive rate of new cases. In the week beginning June 28, there were 17 new cases per 100,000 people in Maine. This is more than Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut saw during the same period, but less than New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
A warning using the number of medical records to compare the prevalence of diseases in different states is that the level of testing in the United States has changed over the past week. For example, Maine has only conducted more than 14,000 tests, which is equivalent to 1,050 tests per 100,000. In New York, 2,150 tests are conducted for every 100,000 people.
The positive rate helps to explain the different test rates between states. Generally, a low positive rate means that the prevalence of the disease is low. After population adjustment, two states with more new cases (New York and New Jersey) also had lower positive rates than Maine, suggesting that their higher case rate may be partly related to more tests.
Using the seven-day moving average, Maine’s positive rate in the past week was 1.6%. Rhode Island’s positive rate is roughly the same as Maine, while New Hampshire’s positive rate is slightly higher. According to data collected by the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, Massachusetts had the highest positive rate at the time, at 2.3%.
Shah said on Monday that the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is continuing to check data for Massachusetts and Rhode Island and other states, and if the number improves, it may be allowed for travelers from these or other states.
Shah said: “The data is changing. As the data changes, we hope to balance the analysis to match it.”