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Hospitalizations highest since June as Maine CDC reports 217 new cases of COVID-19

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Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are rising once more in Maine as state health officers reported 217 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, however no further deaths.

Case numbers are growing steadily once more after an early-summer lull that raised hopes that the state and far of the nation had been rising from the pandemic. Over the previous seven days, Maine has averaged 149 new cases per day in comparison with a median of simply 18 cases for the week ending July 7, in accordance with knowledge from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The regular rise in case numbers has begun to end in extra hospitalizations, which usually lag case will increase by two to a few weeks.

On Wednesday, there have been 60 inpatients with COVID-19 in Maine hospitals – up from 47 two days earlier and a low of 23 on July 5 – with 28 folks in vital care beds. While that’s nonetheless effectively under Maine’s peak of greater than 200 COVID-related hospitalizations final winter, the final time 60 or extra folks had been hospitalized with the illness was June 6.

Northern Light Health, which operates a community of hospitals stretching from Portland to Presque Isle, reported 17 COVID inpatients and one affected person inside the community’s dwelling care and hospice program Wednesday. There had been six whole hospitalizations in Northern Light services final week.

Although COVID-19 hospitalization knowledge for the community’s hospitals wasn’t instantly obtainable Wednesday afternoon, the hospitals are seeing an uptick in COVID-19 sufferers, mentioned John Porter, spokesman for MaineHealth, the guardian firm of Maine Medical Center in Portland and 7 different hospitals in Maine.

“We have seen a slight surge over the past couple of days, in line with what we were expecting, given the increase in cases that we’ve seen,” Porter mentioned.

To date, the Maine CDC has reported 71,883 whole confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 as effectively as 901 deaths linked to the viral illness. The overwhelming majority of these cases and deaths occurred between fall 2020 and final spring, earlier than vaccines grew to become extensively obtainable within the U.S. Maine continues to have one of the nation’s lowest an infection and dying charges.

But this newest spike in cases – seemingly pushed by the extremely contagious delta variant of the coronavirus – is inflicting concern as a result of roughly 39 % of the state’s inhabitants of 1.3 million stays unvaccinated. About 160,000 of these unvaccinated people are youngsters beneath age 12 who’re nonetheless too younger for photographs beneath the present federal authorizations.

Maine can be seeing an uptick in outbreaks, together with at hospitals and assisted residing or long-term care services. On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Gov. Janet Mills mentioned the administration is “seriously considering” requiring all health care staff within the state to be vaccinated towards COVID-19.

Maine’s two largest health care suppliers, MaineHealth and Northern Light Health, have introduced plans to require all employees to be vaccinated, as has Millinocket Regional Hospital.

Roughly 69 % of Maine residents age 12 or over have obtained the total routine of doses essential to be thought of absolutely vaccinated towards the illness. Maine has constantly had the third-highest full vaccination fee within the nation behind Vermont and Massachusetts, though public health officers warning the speed must be considerably increased to additional stem the unfold of the virus.

There had been 712 so-called “breakthrough” infections of absolutely vaccinated people, together with 32 leading to hospitalization and 14 deaths, primarily based on the most recent knowledge launched by the Maine CDC final week. In comparability, the company has reported 36,785 cases of COVID-19, 816 hospitalizations and 234 deaths since the primary date that Mainers may have been absolutely vaccinated towards the illness. Research exhibits that inoculated individuals are a lot much less more likely to develop a extreme sufficient case to require hospitalization or die of the illness.

According to case fee metrics utilized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, masks are beneficial in indoor public settings for each vaccinated and unvaccinated people in 14 of Maine’s 16 counties. The suggestion, which has been embraced by the Maine CDC, is predicated on a group transmission fee of at the least 50 cases for each 100,000 residents in these counties.

Androscoggin, Aroostook, Cumberland, Franklin, Hancock, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset, Washington and York counties all have substantial ranges of transmission, primarily based on Maine CDC case knowledge up to date Wednesday. Waldo County was the one location with excessive ranges of group transmission.

Kennebec and Sagadahoc counties had been experiencing average transmission charges.

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