The number of patients admitted across the country with coronavirus increased slightly on Sunday, but continued to be low compared to the omicron increase in January.
A total of 124 people with COVID-19 were in hospitals in Maine, two more than last Saturday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Of those admitted Sunday, 28 were in critical care and seven in respirator. There are five more people in intensive care units on Sunday than on Saturday, and one more person was on a respirator.
One month ago, there were 291 patients hospitalized with the virus, of whom 67 were in critical care and 30 in respirators. The peak was on January 13, when there were 436 people hospitalized across the country with COVID-19.
Health experts say the best way to prevent getting seriously ill or hospitalized with COVID-19 is to get vaccinated and boosted, and there Maine’s trend is positive.
Of the state’s 1.34 million inhabitants, 991,105 people are fully vaccinated, meaning two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one of the J&J vaccines, according to Maine CDC statistics. The number of fully vaccinated people increased from 143 people from Saturday. The state reported that 585,985 people have received boosters.
Of the Mainers aged 5-11, 38.204 have been fully vaccinated, the state reported Saturday.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Protection and Control reports that adults who were not vaccinated had a six-fold greater risk of being admitted with COVID-19 than those vaccinated. Children aged 5-11 years who were not vaccinated were three times more likely to be hospitalized than those who were. The CDC says a major myth is that natural immunity to getting sick with COVID-19 is better than vaccination, when in fact it is a safer and more reliable way to build immunity than getting sick with the virus.
Cumberland County has the highest percentage of residents in Maine who are fully vaccinated – 84.37 percent – state statistics show. Other counties and their percentage of the population fully vaccinated include Knox, 79.07 percent; Kennebec, 67.84 percent; and Aroostook, 67.77 per cent. Somerset County has the lowest percentage of fully vaccinated residents at 60.33 percent, the state reported Saturday.
The state typically does not report new case numbers and deaths on Sunday and Monday. Since the pandemic began two years ago, Maine has recorded 232,293 cases and 2,145 deaths.
With the coronavirus picture improved in Maine, most of the state’s 16 counties are now considered at low risk for COVID-19 transmission and hospital burden, according to updated federal data.
Ten of Maine’s 16 counties are now in the “green” category, meaning the CDC no longer recommends wearing masks in indoor public places except those at high risk for serious illness.