The Maine Center for Disease Control on Thursday reported five COVID-19 deaths and 620 new cases in the state. Aroostook County has 34 new infections and one more hospitalization.

New cases in Maine have more than doubled over the past two weeks, while other New England states have seen cases decline in that period. According to the latest data from the CDC, Aroostook and Piscataquis Counties have seen more cases per capita in the past two weeks than most areas of the country. Officials say the higher infection rates are due in large part to the lower vaccination rate in the two counties.

Currently, 187 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 25 patients in the past week. Of those, 67 people are in intensive care. There are now only 42 critical care beds available in the state.

The parent company of Maine Medical Center is postponing some elective surgeries because of the drastic rise in COVID-19 cases, according to the Associated Press. The chief medical officer for MaineHealth says Maine Medical has reduced surgeries by 30%, and all hospitals in the network are postponing surgical procedures that require a hospital admission.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said the rising demand for COVID-19 tests over the past several weeks has impacted the availability of testing supplies.

Houlton Elementary School has announced it will shut down until Sept. 20 as it contends with a high number of COVID-19 cases, which has led to dozens of students in quarantine. Several other Aroostook County schools have switched to remote learning.

New Brunswick Update

New Brunswick Public Health reported 16 new COVID-19 cases and 29 recoveries on Wednesday. Active cases are down to 112 in the province, with five people in hospital. Currently, over 76% of New Brunswickers, age 12 and older are fully vaccinated against the virus.

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