The number of cases and hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Maine increased sharply on Thursday as new, highly infectious strains of the virus spread throughout the state.
However, as a result of the decline in case numbers earlier this week, southern and coastal counties in Maine have been removed from the list of counties experiencing high levels of infection.
A new map posted Thursday afternoon by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that four counties in Maine have high levels of the virus community. Aroostook, Piscataquis, Penobscot and Hancock. The other four counties, which were designated high levels a week ago, have been downgraded to moderate levels. Cumberland, Sagada Hoku, Lincoln, Knox. The rest of the state is also specified as having a medium level send.
The US CDC recommends universal masks for indoor wear in community-level counties. Masks are recommended for people at risk in medium-level counties. The designation is based on infection rate, hospitalization and hospital capacity.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported a total of 221 inpatients on Thursday, starting with 209 on Wednesday. Of those hospitalized as of Thursday, 31 were on critical care and two were on mechanical ventilation.
The state also reported 1,001 new cases of COVID-19 and 2 additional deaths.
Currently, the 7-day average is 694 new cases per day, more than double the daily average two weeks ago. Maine continues to be one of the highest infection rates in the country, with 347 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the past seven days. The national average is 179 per 100,000 people. Maine’s infection rate ranks fourth after Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York.
The official case count indicates whether the infection is accelerating or slowing down, but underestimates the actual infection because many people rely on home tests that are not included in the official count. increase.
Data posted by the Maine CDC show that the latest genomic tests show that there are several Omicron variants that cause infection in Maine. This includes Omicron BA.2, BA.2.12.1, BA.2.7. The subvariants are more contagious than the original Omicron strain, but do not appear to cause more serious symptoms.
Due to the rapid increase in cases reported in the last 3 weeks and higher transmission levels, bangol Portland School District Revives Indoor Masks Obligation. Bangor requirements began on Monday and Portland requirements came into effect on Thursday.
Other districts including the Lake Region covering Bridgeton, Casco and Naples. Gray’s Main School Management District 15-New Gloucester; Wyndham’s Community School Unit 14 announces that there are schools offering distance education on Thursdays and Fridays due to an increase in cases of COVID-19 and a resulting shortage of personnel. bottom.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Maine has recorded 253,654 cases and 2,332 deaths.
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