COVID-19 admissions are falling in Maine
COVID-19 admissions are falling in Maine

COVID-19 admissions are falling in Maine

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine fell Friday and continues to fluctuate around 100, though the state reports an increase in cases.

A total of 103 patients were admitted Friday morning, including 19 in critical care and two in respirator. That’s a small drop in one day from Thursday’s count of 107, which was highest number for more than a month.

Meanwhile, the average number of new cases reported by the state has increased by about 50 percent over the past few weeks, from about 200 cases a day to about 300.

The Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 467 new cases and two more deaths on Friday. The actual number of new infections is significantly higher than the daily reports because many people are now relying on home tests which are not included in the official counts. Since the pandemic began, Maine has recorded 241,716 cases and 2,280 deaths.

Maine’s increase in infections coincides with increases across the northeast after the spread of the BA.2 omicron subvariant, which is more contagious than the original omicron variant.

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Hospital admissions have also begun to increase in the Northeast, but not as markedly as infection rates. The number of new hospital admissions has increased by 24 percent over the past week in New England, according to the US CDC.

Public health experts do not project a large jump in hospitalizations because both omicron variants tend to cause less severe cases, and with high levels of the population immunized through vaccination and previous infection, there are fewer people to infect. Also, people who are vaccinated and get breakthrough cases of COVID-19 are much more likely to get a mild version and do not need hospitalization.

Most patients in need of hospital treatment have not been fully vaccinated.

Aroostook County var reclassified as being at high risk for virus transmission, according to federal data updated late Thursday.

The high-risk category on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID Data Tracker card means that the societal transmission of the virus is high and can strain hospital capacity. People living in high-risk areas are encouraged to wear a mask indoors in public spaces.

Franklin County is now considered to be at moderate risk. Residents of moderate-risk counties are advised to wear masks when indoors if they are at high risk for COVID-19 complications due to their age or underlying health conditions.

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All other Maine counties are classified as low-risk, meaning there is no universal recommendation to wear masks indoors. The virus is still circulating in low-risk areas, but there is little chance that diseases will strain hospital capacity.

This story will be updated.


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