Maine reported a record 748 brand-new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, exceeding the previous single-day high set recently by more than 150 cases.
Some of that boost, though, and other boosts over the last week or more, are attributable to a processing backlog at the Maine Center for Illness Control and Prevention, stated Dr. Nirav Shah, the firm’s director.
“Despite the fact that this increase is concerning, and it does represent a real number … it does not represent a striking increase within a 24-hour duration,” he said at a media instruction, including that other metrics, including screening positivity rate, have actually improved in current days, recommending things may have really plateaued.
Maine has actually now discussed 20,000 validated or possible cases given that the pandemic started. Half of those have actually been available in just over a month, as the state faces a continual rise at the same time vaccines are beginning to be administered.
8 extra deaths were reported Wednesday as well. Up until now in December, 82 people have died from COVID-19, the most dangerous month so far. The total death toll has doubled considering that the beginning of November and now stands at 311.
Late Wednesday, the Maine Department of Corrections reported the very first Maine prisoner to pass away of COVID-19, a prisoner in his 70s at Mountain View Correctional Facility in Charleston. Corrections authorities declined to name the male or offer any other details about his case because of medical privacy. His death was not shown in the CDC’s overalls Wednesday.
Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer COVID-19 hospitalizations increased to 187 people Wednesday, consisting of 46 in crucial care and 19 on ventilators. Because March, precisely 1,000 individuals have been hospitalized with the infection eventually.
Gov. Janet Mills, who joined Shah at Wednesday’s rundown, said that although the arrival of vaccines has offered a “desperately required ray of hope,” the state is months far from relaxing.
“The bottom line is: We in Maine are still quite in the throes of this virus, as is every state in the country,” she said. “We can, and we must, do better controlling this.”
The seven-day average of everyday brand-new cases stood at 461 on Wednesday, up from 205 one month ago and 34 2 months earlier. In 11 of the last 17 days, the number of cases has topped 400, including 2 days recently when there were 551 and 590 new cases. New cases were reported in every Maine county Wednesday, led by Cumberland County with 181, York County with 165 and Penobscot County with 90.
Maine’s typical everyday case number has increased 17.8 percent in the recently, the highest rate of any New England state, according to the COVID Tracking Project. New Hampshire is close behind with a boost of 16.8 percent in the last week, however its typical everyday case number– about 780– is much greater.
2 Maine healthcare facilities are dealing with significant outbreaks. York Health center reported eight new positive cases amongst personnel on Wednesday, bring the overall to 45 because the outbreak was discovered on Dec. 6. The break out likewise has spread to 13 clients there, three of whom have actually died. Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor had an overall of 48 COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday– 40 employee and 8 clients.
Dr. James Jarvis, senior doctor executive for Northern Light Maine Health, stated Wednesday that the recent increase in positive cases has several causes. More individuals are within, where the virus spreads more easily. The air is drier, which implies COVID-19 beads can linger in the air longer. There has clearly been a Thanksgiving spike, combined with college students returning home from every state. And individuals have been out Christmas shopping.
“The infection is prevalent,” he said. “There is a much greater likelihood of being exposed any place you are going.”
In discussing the current case reporting stockpile, Shah said every positive case that comes into the Maine CDC requires to be verified. His company has structured that procedure in current days and has actually induced more staff to assist, which has led to some higher numbers being reported on specific days. He expected that to continue in the coming days as well and stated higher case numbers on a couple of days might not necessarily represent an alarming spike.
The positivity rate, one of the metrics that Shah noted had actually recently enhanced, was at 5.4 percent Wednesday after being as high as 6.2 percent over the last month. The statistic represents the portion of all tests that return favorable.
Maine’s Department of Health and Human being Provider revealed Wednesday the launch of a new text messaging service that informs individuals who test favorable what actions they ought to take. Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew explained that the text alert system is a supplement to what the state already is doing, but it provides immediate information for people to begin quarantining and to reach out to individuals they may have been in contact with.
Cases, hospitalizations and deaths have soared considering that Thanksgiving, prompting fears that another surge is possible after the Christmas vacation, although state and federal health officials have actually pleaded with Americans not to take a trip.
Mills and Shah both made additional pleas Wednesday for Mainers to stay at home if possible.
“The greatest present we can give each this holiday … is the gift of health, the present of life,” the governor stated.
Shah said the most important thing for people to remember is that all gatherings outside the house are a threat.
“We ought to go into today acknowledging that,” he said. “If a gathering is in your household’s cards, think of whether you can do it essentially.”
If not, Shah urged people to keep events as little and as brief as possible, keep the most susceptible individuals away and wear a face covering.
Mills was asked Wednesday if she’s considering any other limiting measures to combat additional spread.
“It’s something we talk about just about every day: What are we refraining from doing that we might be doing,” she stated.
Mills didn’t announce any extra constraints, however doubled down on urging Mainers to be vigilant through the winter so the vaccine can do its job.
Vaccines are slowly making their method throughout the nation, offering a glimmer of hope as 2020 comes to a close. Front-line healthcare employees and residents and personnel of long-term care centers in Maine have actually started to get either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, and extra dosages are coming every week.
Since Friday, at least 8,000 vaccines had actually been administered. Shah also revealed that a person person, a health care worker at Maine Medical Center, had an allergic reaction to the vaccine however was being kept an eye on and was succeeding.
The state has introduced a new online dashboard that has information about vaccines, consisting of updates on which categories of people will be eligible for vaccinations when supply shows up. Maine positioned an order Friday for an additional 10,725 dosages of Pfizer’s vaccine and 8,400 doses of Moderna’s vaccine for next week.
There has been some confusion about the order in which certain groups of individuals should be inoculated as the state’s vaccination strategy continues to progress. An interim draft plan published on the Maine CDC’s website in October is now partly obsolete because state health authorities have since adopted the multiphase vaccination strategies proposed by the U.S. Centers for Illness Control and Avoidance.
For example, the Maine CDC included citizens of long-lasting care centers to the first phase of its vaccination strategy in action to federal guidance. In the current modification, Shah suggested Monday that Maine will follow a federal advisory committee’s suggestion to consist of individuals age 75 or older as well as front-line “important” employees in the next phase of vaccinations.
That indicates 10s of countless teachers, police officers, correctional officers, grocery store workers and postal staff members could be eligible for vaccination as early as late January or early February, if vaccine products and federal distributions keep up.
Mills said on Wednesday that things have actually been altering rapidly with vaccines, however the state is devoted to rolling out vaccinations as equitably as possible, bearing in mind danger aspects for each category.
“Absolutely nothing basic about any of this,” she stated. “Every person to me is essential.”