Maine puts new pandemic high for COVID-19 hospitalizations – Community News

Maine puts new pandemic high for COVID-19 hospitalizations

On Friday, more Maine people were hospitalized with COVID-19 than at any other time during the pandemic.

According to data from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of people hospitalized has risen to 248, overshadowing the pandemic peak of 235 on Sept. 25. Of those currently hospitalized, 72 are in critical care and 31 are on a ventilator.

New cases were not updated on Friday because Thursday was a federal and state holiday, but recent case trends suggest that things could worsen.

“The Maine CDC expects cases to remain high,” said agency director Dr. Nirav Shah, this week. “How long they stay high is essentially up to all of us.”

As of Thursday, Maine’s seven-day daily average stood at 553 cases, up from 462 cases two weeks earlier and 368 cases a month ago. Since the pandemic hit Maine nearly 19 months ago, there have been 110,346 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 and 1,220 deaths, according to CDC data. Despite the recent rise, both are among the lowest per capita of all states.

Across the US, cases started to rise again after declining steadily since mid-September. According to the US CDC, the seven-day average is about 74,500, compared to about 72,000 two weeks ago.

Vaccinations, meanwhile, are continuing at a steady pace, including among the 5 to 11-year-olds, who are now eligible. In total, the state has administered 948,602 vaccines, representing 70.6 percent of all Mainers. In less than a week, 6,774 elementary-age children received their first dose of vaccine, 58 percent of whom were from Cumberland and York counties.

While Maine’s overall vaccination rate is among the best of all states — the top five states for vaccinations are all in New England — it isn’t uniform across all counties, and that disparity has been driving transmission lately, it said. Shah this week. Many rural parts of the state have barely reached 60 percent, meaning large groups of people are unvaccinated, allowing the virus to spread.

Shah said he understands people may be confused and discouraged by the recent wave in Maine, but he reiterated that vaccines remain the best way out of the pandemic.

“None of this is to undermine or undermine the fact that the vaccines and vaccinations continue to work,” he said. “If you’re vaccinated, your risk of getting seriously ill from COVID or ending up in a hospital or dying remains low.”

This story is being updated.

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