Maine reported on Tuesday that there were 938 new cases of COVID-19 and eight additional deaths in the past three days.
For the first time, Maine also released data on Tuesday on the number of newly eligible children — ages 5-11 — who have received their injections. Since age group eligibility six days ago, Maine has registered 2018 elementary school children who received their injections, the vast majority of children who received their first dose since federal regulators approved Pfizer’s two-stage vaccine for children on Nov. 2. small number of children vaccinated before November 2.
Cumberland County has the highest percentage of the 5-11 age group vaccinated, with 4.68 percent of newly eligible children, followed by Lincoln County with 3.49 percent. Androscoggin County has the least vaccinated in the age group, at 0.38 percent.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t report cases on weekends, so Tuesday’s report includes cases from Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
Since the start of the pandemic, Maine has reported 108,710 cases of COVID-19 and 1,215 deaths.
The seven-day average of daily new cases was 514 Tuesday, compared to 473.4 a week ago and 498.7 a month ago. Cumberland County, the state’s most vaccinated state, had the fewest number of seven-day cases, at 151.9 per 100,000 population. Oxford County was hardest hit by the virus, with a total of 520.9 cases per 100,000 over seven days. Cumberland County has vaccinated 80 percent of the total population, while Oxford County, one of the least vaccinated in Maine, has vaccinated 61.2 percent of the population.
dr. Nirav Shah, Maine CDC director, who appeared on the Maine Public radio show “Maine Calling” Monday, called the latest pandemic trends in Maine a “high plateau.”
“This trend that we’re seeing, this high plateau of cases, hospitalizations and deaths is likely to continue,” Shah said. He said the virus “just rips through” rural parts of the state with low vaccination rates.
With vaccinations starting last week for ages 5-11, schoolchildren from kindergarten to high school are now eligible for vaccination, and public health officials hope the increased immunizations will help contain the pandemic.
But school outbreaks have remained high, and the Maine Department of Education reported on Thursday that 161 school outbreaks have caused 3,308 COVID-19 cases in the past 30 days — including students and staff. Some of the schools reporting the highest numbers are Sanford High School with 43 cases and Winslow Elementary School with 39 cases. The number rose from 2,916 cases and 125 outbreaks on October 21 to 2,943 cases and 144 outbreaks on October 28, before rising again last week.
This story is being updated.
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