COVID-19 Cases in Northern Maine Rise as School Year Begins
Coronavirus cases continue to surge across Maine in August and community transmission has been highest in areas where vaccination rates are lower.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday reported two more COVID-19 deaths in the state and 287 new coronavirus infections. Penobscot and Aroostook counties account for nearly one third of those cases.
Aroostook County reported 22 new infections and two more hospitalizations. So far this month, the County has recorded 247 new COVID-19 cases. In neighboring Penobscot County, 68 more people tested positive for the virus.
Schools in Limestone and Fort Fairfield were scheduled to start classes on Wednesday but will delay until Monday, August 30 due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the area. Those two schools will be require face coverings for students and staff.
Meanwhile, two people at the Central Aroostook Junior/Senior high school in Mars Hill tested positive for the virus. SAD 42 officials say close contacts will quarantine for 10 days and masks will be required for students in grades 7-12. Van Buren High School switched to remote learning on Monday for one day after a staff member tested positive.
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said his office is currently investigating 21 outbreak in the state, including nine in health care facilities. There are 117 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine. More than half of those patients are in intensive care.
New Brunswick notes:
New Brunswick Public Health reported 15 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday. There are 167 known active cases in the province. Officials say children turning 12 by the end of the year are now eligible to receive vaccination against COVID-19 in the province.