The Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday reported 236 cases of the new coronavirus and two more deaths, leading to an increase in overall values as the holidays approach.
Public health experts are urging Americans to cancel or limit their vacation plans, but about 2.2 million New England residents are expected to travel for Thanksgiving this year, according to an AAA Northern New England forecast. That’s still about 9 percent of last year’s vacation travel, the biggest drop since the 2008 recession.
Maine’s cumulative cases increased to 10,359 on Sunday, of which 9,294 were confirmed by testing and 1
One hundred and seventy-six people died of COVID-19 in Maine and 7,791 recovered from the disease. Maine had 2,392 active cases on Sunday.
The two people reportedly died on Sunday were a man from Androskogin County in the 1960s and a man from Franklin County in the 1980s, the CDC in Maine said.
Sharply rising numbers pushed Maine to a new high on Sunday, with a seven-day daily average of 204.6. The rise in COVID-19 cases across the country has finally hit Maine, who enjoyed a low number of cases over the summer, and public health experts here are asking residents to wear masks and physically distance themselves from others.
Holders must take precautions, warned last week Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the CDC in Maine; otherwise the growing trend makes it “increasingly difficult to put a lid on things.”
Last week, Gov. Janet Mills imposed 21 hours to close restaurants, movie theaters, tastings and casinos, which began on Friday and lasts until December 6. Until now, she had resisted imposing a new home stay order.
Meanwhile, trucks could start rolling in Maine with batches of the COVID-19 vaccine as early as mid-December. But that doesn’t mean it will spread just as quickly or easily.
CDC officials in Maine say they are planning a large-scale effort to vaccinate as many people as possible, involving the National Guard, firefighters, paramedics and many other health workers. Two different vaccines are awaiting approval from the US Food and Drug Administration; one of them, from Pfizer, should be stored at an ultra-cold temperature of negative 70 degrees Celsius.
Maine planned to buy two freezers in December and hopes to borrow a massive ultra-cold storage unit from the University of New England. Large-scale vaccination efforts will be developed in several phases, with people at greatest risk being inoculated first, starting with healthcare professionals.
The vaccine will not be available to all professionals until the fourth phase, after it has been given to health workers, the elderly, school and prison staff, people with basic health conditions, children and people working in other high-risk jobs. However, the CDC in Maine says its plans call for 80 percent of the population to be vaccinated within 12 weeks – about 1.04 million people.
County by county in Maine since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 1,370 cases of coronavirus in Androscoggin, 95 in Aroostook, 3556 in Cumberland, 194 in Franklin, 213 in Hancock, 668 in Kennebec, 188 in Knox, 134 in Lincoln, 285 in Oxford, 649 in Penobscot, 35 in Piskatakis, 134 in Sagadakhok, 402 in Somerset, 210 in Waldo, 178 in Washington and 2040 in York.
By age, 13 percent of patients were under 20, while 18.3 percent were 20, 15.2 percent were 30, 13.2 percent were 40, and 15.4 percent were 50. years, 11.5 percent were in their 60s, 7.3 percent were in their 70s, and 6.2 percent were in their 80s or older.
Women still make up a small majority of cases, just over 51 percent.
Updated data on the hospital’s capacity were not yet available early Sunday morning. On Saturday, Maine hospitals had 86 patients with COVID-19, of whom 41 were in intensive care and 11 were on ventilators. The state had 93 intensive care beds out of a total of 374 and 248 ventilators out of 315. There were also 444 alternative ventilators.
There are 58.2 million known cases of COVID-19 and nearly 1.4 million deaths worldwide on Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States had more than 12 million cases and just under 256,000 deaths.
This story will be updated.
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