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– Record number of patients on ventilators as Maine reports 778 new cases of coronavirus

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– Record number of patients on ventilators as Maine reports 778 new cases of coronavirus

Maine reported a further 778 cases of coronavirus as the number of patients on ventilators reached a new record high on Wednesday.

42 people at Maine hospitals are breathing through fans, according to data from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which surpasses the previous peak of 40 people on Monday.

The state also reported seven new deaths, bringing the total number of people killed during the pandemic to 976. In total, there have been 81,955 cases.

While the number of new cases reported by the state on Wednesday is among the highest since the pandemic began, the data are difficult to interpret due to a continuing backlog of positive tests.

For more than two weeks, the Maine CDC has received more positive reports than staff can verify and report each day, so the counts reflect how many are being treated and not how many people are actually testing positive in the last 24 hours. Treatment includes elimination of duplicates.

Last week, the CDC said it had redirected staff, assigned Maine National Guard members to the case management team and staff and began training new staff to work through the backlog and try to keep up with the increase in cases and tests. However, the cases reported Wednesday include test results received over the past 10 days, according to the Maine CDC website.

The seven-day average of new new cases is 450.6, up from 359 a week ago and 173.7 a month ago. The rise in cases has prompted the Maine CDC to resume weekly media briefings with its director, Dr. Nirav Shah, who is expected to provide an update on the virus status at.

The latest figures come as the more contagious delta variant rises among the unvaccinated in Maine and nationwide. The burden of disease also shifts to younger people, as children under the age of 12 are still not eligible for vaccinations and return to school and in several contexts.

29 percent of the cases reported Wednesday were in people under the age of 20, and a further 16 percent were among people in their 20s. People in their 70s and older, representing the most vaccinated population in Maine, made up only six percent of new cases Wednesday.

The latest figures classify every county in Maine with the exception of Sagadahoc for having high transmission, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which calculates transmission levels based on new cases per month. 100,000 people in the last seven days or test positivity, whichever is higher. Waldo County currently has the worst transmission levels. The 223 cases reported there in the last seven days mean that the county has a case rate of 561.5 per. 100,000 people. Sagadahoc County, where transmission is significant, has a seven-day case rate of 97.6 per. 100,000 people.

Maine’s education commissioner told lawmakers Tuesday schools felt overwhelmed by the number of cases they see in the first few weeks, but the state continues to believe personal learning can occur safely as long as health protocols like universal indoor masking and vaccines for all eligible , are in place.

“Unfortunately, we had this very extraordinary, unexpected increase in COVID collision with the very open days of the school,” said Pender Makin. “I think you are going to see a change and people will be willing to realize that we are living with COVID for a while. It’s not a thing where we want to go away and say, ‘Mission accomplished.’ We need to learn to live reasonably in an environment where a rather dangerous, often fatal disease is out there among us. ”

Maine continues to have high hospital admissions, and on Monday a record number of people needed mechanical fans to breathe, with 40 people at Maine hospitals on fans. On Wednesday, 192 people were admitted to Maine, including 70 in critical care and 42 on ventilators. There are 194 remaining ventilators available, out of a total of 294, in the state and 55 remaining critical nursing beds out of a total of 332.

Nearly all patients in critical care and 70 to 75 percent of all inpatients have not been vaccinated, the Maine CDC has said.

Nationwide, 64 percent of people are fully vaccinated. This figure rises to 72.9 percent for the population aged 12 and over who are eligible for vaccines.

Nationwide, the summer wave appears to be leveling off as coronavirus deaths continue to rise. The seven-day average of daily new cases around the country was 152,177 on Wednesday, which is slightly lower than an average of 152,393 a week ago, according to the New York Times.

Maine’s infection rate rose to 33 cases per year. 100,000 inhabitants, second highest in New England after Rhode Island. But the state is still below the national infection rate of 46 cases per year. 100,000 people due to even more severe increases in many southern states.

This story will be updated.

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