Maine health officials reported 946 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday for the three-day period Saturday through Monday.
Thirteen additional deaths were also reported.
With the new batch of cases, the seven-day average is now at 491, compared to 473 two weeks earlier, according to data tracked by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. As of Tuesday, 983 cases had been reported for Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
As of March 2020, there are 112,090 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 and 1,243 deaths in Maine. Even with continued increases, the state has the third lowest per capita rate for both since the start of the pandemic.
The number of cases has risen nationwide again as colder weather has forced more people inside, where the virus spreads more easily. According to the US CDC, the seven-day case average is 80,823, a 13 percent increase from 71,619 cases averaged two weeks earlier. The number of deaths from COVID-19 still averages about 1,000 a day across the country, and more than 760,000 Americans have died since the pandemic began.
The number of hospital admissions was not updated on Tuesday, but Monday’s total of 261 sparked another pandemic. Of these, 72 were in intensive care and 35 were on a ventilator. Daily hospital admissions are up 21 percent in the past week, adding to an already taxing situation for health centers hampered by staff shortages.
Hospital admissions, especially those requiring critical care or ventilators, are overwhelmingly unvaccinated, and numerous field studies have shown that unvaccinated people are much more likely to end up in hospital if they contract COVID-19.
Meanwhile, vaccinations continue at an accelerated pace this week, aided by an increasing number of booster shots and first doses for children ages 5-11. In all, Maine has administered 951,671 final doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine. That’s 70.8 percent of all Mainers.
According to a state-by-state tracker from Bloomberg News, Maine ranks third among all states in vaccination coverage, behind only Vermont and Rhode Island. The top eight states are all on the East Coast.
In addition, Maine has now administered 171,185 booster shots and 12,366 primary school-age children have received the first dose, representing 13 percent of all children in that range. However, as with other age groups, there is a wide geographic disparity for childhood vaccinations. For example, in Cumberland County, 21.5 percent of 5-11 year olds have had their first injections. In Franklin County, on the other hand, the rate is only 2.2 percent.
This story is being updated
Portland Approves Emergency Shelter Licensing Program