- Associated Press - Monday, October 19, 2020

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The Maine Medical Center Research Institute is joining an initiative to create a centralized national data platform that scientists can use to study COVID-19 and identify potential treatments.

The institute received a $203,000 grant from West Virginia University for a National Institute of General Medical Sciences initiative.

The National COVID Cohort Collaborative is a partnership of more than 35 institutions. The goal is to use COVID-19 clinical data to answer critical research questions to address the pandemic.

“The N3C platform allows researchers access to vast amounts of data without health care institutions having to share personally identifiable information about their patients,” said Susan Santangelo, from the Maine Medical Center Research Institute. “This collaboration may help us save lives.”

Santangelo used previous funding to create a data warehouse from medical records of MaineHealth patients since the beginning of 2020. The data sets are in line with patient confidential laws, officials said.



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THE NUMBERS

Another 25 coronavirus cases have been reported in the state, the Maine CDC reported Monday.

That brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 5,962, while the number of deaths remained at 146, officials said. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine was about 34, which was about two more than it was a week ago.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

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CHURCH OUTBREAK

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said the size of an outbreak centered around a church in Brooks has nearly doubled.

The Maine CDC has launched an investigation into Brooks Pentecostal Church and its affiliated school, Lighthouse Christian Academy in Brooks. The agency said Monday the outbreak has grown from 17 cases to 32.

Maine CDC said it would have more information about its investigation into the church on Tuesday.

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