Maine reports 944 new cases of COVID-19, 14 more deaths on Friday – Community News
Covid-19

Maine reports 944 new cases of COVID-19, 14 more deaths on Friday

Health officials in Maine reported 944 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 additional deaths on Friday, continuing one of the worst series of virus transmission on record, with Thanksgiving less than a week away.

There have been 2,919 new cases in the past three days alone, and the seven-day average now stands at 666, which is a new record. The state has already set records this week for the highest cases reported in a single day, the highest average positive test rate and the most people hospitalized.

Two weeks ago, the daily average number of cases was 486. Last month it was 524. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 115,009 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 and 1,268 deaths, according to data from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite the recent rise, both cases and deaths remain among the lowest per capita of any state. Ten of the 14 deaths reported Friday were the result of a periodic review of death certificates and occurred between Oct. 27 and Nov. 11.

The number of people admitted to hospital with COVID-19 also rose slightly on Friday, to 278. Of these, 81 are in intensive care and 32 are on a ventilator. This is the first time the number of intensive care patients has exceeded 80 since October 28. Hospital admissions have increased most in areas with lower vaccination coverage and have put pressure on already struggling health systems.

In the past two weeks, the number of hospital admissions has increased by 24 percent.

Maine has been seeing high numbers of cases for weeks, but they have started to rise again across the country after falling through most of September and October.

According to the US CDC, the seven-day average number of reported cases is 88,482, a 26 percent increase from 70,400 cases on average two weeks ago. Hospital admissions have been declining steadily since early September, when the daily average was around 93,000, but has leveled off recently, hovering around 40,000. Deaths still average about 1,000 a day in the US

Maine’s seven-day disease rate of 332 per 100,000 people ranks 14th among all states, and is significantly higher than the national rate of 187 cases per 100,000 people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vermont and New Hampshire are among the states that rank higher than Maine.

Vaccinations, meanwhile, are steadily continuing in Maine, and that is expected to increase after Governor Janet Mills’ announcement Wednesday that anyone 18 or older can now get a booster, as long as it’s at least six months after their last dose of the original Pfizer vaccine. or Moderna vaccines or two months after the Johnson & Johnson single-dose version. The federal government on Friday opened vaccine boosters to all adults across the country.

The state also continues to expand vaccinations for 5- to 11-year-olds, who were eligible this month. So far, 18,471 children in that range have received first doses, more than half of them in Cumberland and York counties.

Mills visited a vaccine clinic for 5-to-11-year-olds at Morse High School in Bath Friday morning to thank MaineHealth teachers, staff and employees who ran the clinic.

In the past week, daily vaccinations averaged nearly 9,000, a rate not seen since mid-May. In total, Maine has administered 916,259 final doses of vaccine, representing 68.2 percent of all residents.

The latest vaccination rate posted by the state actually fell from earlier this week as some vaccine providers reported booster doses as last doses to the state in recent weeks, Maine CDC spokesman Robert Long said Friday. As a result of the data correction, the number of booster doses increased significantly on Friday to 232,053, or about 22 percent of those who qualified.

The data increasingly show that the virus spreads most strongly in countries with lower vaccination coverage. Conversely, more highly vaccinated counties are not hit as hard.

In the past 14 days, Franklin, Androscoggin, Oxford and Somerset were the counties with the highest number of cases. All four are in the bottom five for vaccination coverage. Cumberland County has the highest percentage of fully vaccinated residents in the state and has seen the lowest level of transmission in the past two weeks.

This story is being updated.


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