Maine reports 799 new cases of COVID-19, 10 more deaths – Community News

Maine reports 799 new cases of COVID-19, 10 more deaths

Maine health officials reported 799 new cases of COVID-19 over a two-day period on Saturday and another 10 deaths.

New cases were not updated on Friday because Thursday was a federal and state holiday.

The seven-day daily average has gradually increased to more than 500 new cases in recent weeks. Maine’s infection rate has been above the national average for weeks, as the virus mainly spreads in parts of the state with low vaccination rates.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 111,145 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in Maine and 1,230 infected people have died, according to data from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

While hospital admissions are trending down nationwide, Maine reached a record number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 — 248 — on Friday, surpassing the previous record of 235 on Sept. 25. On Friday, 72 COVID patients were in critical care and 31 were on ventilators.

The number of hospital admissions fell slightly on Saturday, but still surpassed the previous record. On Saturday, 240 people were hospitalized, 69 of whom were in intensive care and 36 on ventilators.

The majority of COVID patients in Maine hospitals are unvaccinated.

The pace of vaccinations has accelerated in recent weeks. And more school clinics are expected to start vaccinating 5- to 11-year-olds this week.

In all, Maine has given 951,609 final doses of vaccine, or 70.8 percent of all residents. Children ages 5 to 11 have received 8,742 first doses and 64 last doses since the Pfizer vaccines were made available to them last week. That’s more than double the number of vaccines delivered Wednesday, when 3,189 first doses were given.

In addition to the final doses, Maine has administered 160,070 booster doses.

dr. Maine CDC director Nirav Shah said Wednesday the virus is spreading mainly among unvaccinated people in rural areas, where residents have been largely spared from previous waves of the pandemic. He said unvaccinated people account for 86 percent of all COVID-19 cases since vaccines became widely available last spring, while 99 percent of vaccinated people have not contracted the disease.

Cooler, drier weather may also contribute to the current wave by promoting transmission of the virus and forcing people to spend more time indoors, where the virus spreads more easily, Shah said this week.

And the increase comes just weeks before the holiday season officially begins, a period that led to a surge last winter, although average daily cases were lower and other safety measures, such as universal masking, were more widespread.

dr. James Jarvis, COVID-19 incident commander for Northern Light Health, the parent company of Eastern Maine Medical Center at Bangor and Mercy Hospital in Portland, said on Wednesday that hospitalizations remain a concern, with hospitals caring for many of the COVID-19 patients from the United States. countryside Maine.

Jarvis said, “If we slacken our vigilance” by failing to vaccinate and refusing to take public health precautions, such as wearing masks indoors, “we are going to have a difficult winter.”

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