The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 603 new cases of COVID-19 and four more deaths, plus another record number of hospital admissions across the state: 235.
The number of hospitalized patients on Saturday broke Wednesday’s record – 226 – and is driving the trend in hospital admissions even higher this month. The last time Maine had this many COVID-19 hospital patients was in January, which was the previous record of 207. The stress on hospitals across the state worries whether the intensive care units full of COVID-19 patients will have the capacity for people who need other urgent care.
The cumulative COVID-19 cases in Maine rose to 87,189 on Saturday. Of these, 62,365 have been confirmed through testing and 24,824 are considered likely cases of COVID-19. The new data increased the 7-day mean for new cases to 468.6 and the 14-day mean to 477.1.
One thousand thirteen people have died of COVID-19 in Maine since the pandemic began. Information on the people reported dead on Saturday was not available from the CDC in Maine.
Saturday’s numbers contributed to a steady rise in case averages as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nationwide endorsed booster shots for millions of Americans.
The federal CDC on Thursday recommended boosters for people age 65 and older, as well as those with high-risk health problems. A panel of experts advising the CDC voted against booster vaccinations for people between the ages of 14 and 64 and people who work in the healthcare sector. But the director of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, disagreed with this final decision and includes healthcare workers in the agency’s final refresher recommendation as well as people working in high-risk institutional settings such as prisons.
The CDC booster vaccination only covers the Pfizer vaccine. Federal health officials have not yet weighed up any booster vaccines for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, or considered whether or not it makes sense to give a Pfizer booster to people who have received any of these other vaccines.
Healthcare providers in Maine were already scheduling refresher appointments on Friday. To get the third shot, it must have been six months since your second shot of Pfizer. Must be 65 years of age or older, have a high-risk underlying medical condition, or work or live in a facility with a high risk of exposure to COVID-19 – healthcare facilities, homeless shelters, prisons.
For more information on appointments and eligibility, please visit https://www.maine.gov/covid19/vaccines.
By Saturday morning, Maine had given 868,047 people the final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Of the people aged 12 and over who are currently eligible for vaccination, 73.30 percent are now fully vaccinated.
Maine had recorded 2,693 “breakthrough” cases as of Friday when a fully vaccinated person becomes infected with COVID-19. Unvaccinated people still make up the vast majority of cases, and they are also much more likely to experience more serious cases. For comparison, there have been a total of 50,658 cases since COVID-19 vaccines became available to Mainers.
County by county there were 9,488 coronavirus cases in Androscoggin, 3,160 in Aroostook, 19,827 in Cumberland, 1,759 in Franklin, 2,106 in Hancock, 8,118 in Kennebec, 1,576 in Knox, 1,504 in Lincoln, 4,289 in Oxford, 9,980 in Penobscot, 1,033 in Piscataquis, 1,690 in Sagadahoc, 3,340 in Somerset, 2,008 in Waldo, 1,307 in Washington and 16,004 in York.
According to age, 20.5 percent of the patients were under 20, 18.1 percent were 20 years old, 15.3 percent were 30 years old, 13.1 percent were 40 years old, 13.8 percent were 50 years old, 9, 9 percent were 60 years old, 5.3 percent were in their 70s, and 4.1 percent were 80 or older.
Of the 235 patients with COVID-19 in Maine hospitals on Saturday, 84 were in intensive care and 36 were on ventilators. The state had 42 intensive care beds out of a total of 341 and 185 ventilators out of 299.
Globally, there were 231.3 million known cases of COVID-19 and 4.74 million deaths worldwide as of late Saturday afternoon, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The United States had 42.8 million cases and 687,572 deaths.
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COVID continues to lead to whiplash in the Tri-County region as Maine hospitals flood with patients