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CDC announces 217 new COVID-19 cases

By Fran Gonzalez | Feb 25, 2021

Augusta — The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported an additional 41 COVID-19-related deaths in the state Thursday, Feb. 25.

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, said that while the high number is concerning, 39 were found by reviewing death certificates in the state. Two deaths occurred recently, he said.

The 39 deaths occurred from Jan. 26 through mid-February and the vast majority of the people were 60 and over, which is consistent with mortality trends across the state throughout the pandemic.

“That is to say,” Shah said, “age is one of the strongest predictors of mortality throughout all different patient groups.”  The death toll now is 701 in Maine.

Since yesterday, 217 people have tested positive for COVID-19 across the state. This number represents an increase of 75 since Tuesday’s media briefing. Currently there are 67 people hospitalized across Maine, 22 in intensive care units and eight on ventilators. As of today there are 108 critical care beds available out of a total of 398.

Shah said there was no “big event” that has triggered an increase in the daily case counts and that it was too early to predict if it means anything. “It could be a blip,” he said, “or the normal ebb and flow.”

In all, 316,462 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Maine, including 211,451 first doses, and 105,011 second, or final, doses.

Shah said that state’s vaccine allocation for next week will increase to 30,080 doses, not including the 8,600 doses for the retail partners from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, if approved, can begin to arrive by next week, he said. The increase in supply of vaccines to the state is a welcome change, and means the Maine CDC has more stability in terms of planning, Shah said.

Walgreen’s Pharmacy now has 47 sites across the state that are administering vaccinations. People have commented, he said, that this partnership with the retail stores is a viable option that has many positives associated with it.

Shah said the process is efficient; signing up online is easy; and people are already familiar with the pharmacist. Another big advantage to the partnership, he said, is that it increases the geographical stretch and accesses remote areas in the state.

To schedule an appointment at the nearest Walgreen’s location, visit walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19/location-screening. For vaccine appointments at Walmart stores, visit walmart.com/cp/1228302. Two Sam’s Club stores offer vaccines in the Scarborough and Bangor stores. For more information, visit samsclub.com/pharmacy/immunization?imzType=covid.

Shah warned that while hospitalizations are down, positivity rates are down, deaths are down and outbreaks at long-term care facilities are down, “We’re still in this.”

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