The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday reported 665 new coronavirus cases and three COVID-19 deaths in the state. One of those deaths was an Aroostook County resident.

Aroostook County recorded 32 new cases on Friday and 248 infections in the past week. Penobscot County continues to be the hot spot for community transmission with 148 new cases.

The CDC reports 160 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine with 67 patients in intensive care. Officials say 94% of the COVID patients admitted to Northern Light Health hospitals were not vaccinated.

The vaccination effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus is moving ahead, albeit slowly In Maine, 71.7% of eligible residents (12 and older) have received their final dose of the vaccine. Aroostook County's vaccination rate is considerably lower at 64.5% of the eligible population.

The Mills administration is giving unvaccinated healthcare workers more time to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Gov. Mills said the state will retain the original Oct. 1 deadline but won’t enforce the mandate until Oct. 29. This will enable health care personnel to get both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which is now fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Gov. Mills said the state will also provide $146 million in funding to help long-term healthcare organizations like nursing homes recruit and retain vaccinated workers.

The most recent data show between 80-85% of health care workers in Maine hospitals and surgical centers are vaccinated against COVID-19. The percentage of vaccinated workers at nursing homes and assisted living tracking between 70 - 75%.

New Brunswick Update

New Brunswick Public Health reported 10 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, five of them in the Edmundston region. There were also 16 recoveries, dropping the number of active cases in the province to 121 with three people in hospital. Officials say 75.6 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers (12 and older) are now fully vaccinated.

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