The rate of transmission of COVID-19 in northern Maine has been higher than the rest of the state in mid-August.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday reported 205 new coronavirus cases statewide. Half of the new cases were in four northern counties: Penobscot County had 45 new cases reported on Saturday along with two COVID-related deaths, Aroostook County had 28 new cases, Piscataquis County had 18 new infections and Somerset 11.

The four northernmost counties and Waldo county are currently classified as having “high” levels of COVID-19 community transmission. Vaccination rates across the four counties range from 50% to 56% of the total population.

Seven other Maine counties have substantial levels of transmission. The remaining four counties: Cumberland, Kennebec, Androscoggin and Sagadahoc are considered to be at a moderate level.

There are an estimated 157 active cases in Aroostook County, according to the latest data from the Maine Center for Disease Control. Statewide, there were over 2,300 active cases as the weekend began. Eighty-eight people were hospitalized with the disease in Maine and half of those patients were in intensive care.

The Maine CDC does not conduct coronavirus case investigations on the weekends, and the next report is due to come out Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, in neighboring New Brunswick:

It has been three weeks since New Brunswick lifted all pandemic-related restrictions and coronavirus cases have been inching upwards during that period. The latest report from Public Health showed 152 active cases in the province. Officials say 30 of the 34 new cases on Friday were among unvaccinated people.

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