State reports 106 new COVID-19 cases Thursday and 4 additional deaths


State health officials reported 106 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the biggest single-day total since late May.

Four additional deaths were reported as well.

The seven-day daily case average increased to 58, compared to 20 cases on average two weeks earlier. The average hasn’t been this high in about a month and a half.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 69,780 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 and 891 deaths, according to data from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Maine, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Wednesday was 25, including 14 in critical care. The number of hospitalizations here has been stable for more than a month, but that metric often lags behind case spikes.

Across the United States, new daily cases have nearly tripled over the last two weeks. States with lower vaccination rates are being particularly hard hit as the highly transmissable delta variant has taken hold, but all states are seeing spikes.

As of Wednesday, the seven-day case average in the U.S. was 37,673, compared to 14,892 cases on average two weeks ago. Deaths have increased over the time from 164 per day to 237 per day, according to U.S. CDC data. Hospitalizations have reached their highest level since May, too, and are overwhelmingly among unvaccinated invidividuals.

In nearby Massachusetts, which like Maine has a high vaccination rate, daily cases have increased from 79 on average to 334 in two weeks, the length of one incubation period. New Hampshire’s daily cases have more than doubled from 21 to 47 on average in that time.

Florida, whose vaccination rate is 15 percentage points lower than Maine’s, has seen it’s average number of daily cases explode from 2,476 to 8,107 in two weeks.

On vaccinations, Maine remains stuck at 60 percent of all residents who have been fully vaccinated and 67 percent of eligible individuals age 12 and older. Although the state ranks behind only Vermont and Massachusetts, the rate hasn’t moved much in several weeks. And there are still big gaps in vaccinations in younger individuals and in some geographic areas.

Among Mainers 40 and older, 77 percent have been fully vaccinated, but for those between the ages of 12 and 39, the rate is just 52 percent.

There are five counties in Maine where the vaccination rate is at least 60 percent, led by Cumberland County at 71 percent. On the other end, two counties — Somerset and Piscataquis — have yet to reach the 50 percent threshold.

The state is still promoting vaccine options. The Maine CDC announced that people can visit the Clinton Fire Station from 2-6 p.m. on Thursday to get vaccinated.

This story will be updated.

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