Maine is experiencing the highest surge in new COVID-19 cases in over seven months, with Aroostook and Penobscot Counties showing the highest rates of community transmission.

Thursday's report from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention  listed three COVID-19 deaths and 624 new coronavirus cases in the state, the highest daily total since late January. Aroostook County reported 80 new coronavirus infections and three more hospitalizations.

Penobscot County had 159 new coronavirus cases in Thursday's CDC report, the highest daily count among the 16 Maine counties. Aroostook County's 80 new cases were second highest in the state, coming on the heels of 69 new cases reported on Wednesday.

Ten Maine counties are considered to have high levels of COVID-19 community transmission, with Penobscot and Aroostook having the highest rates per population.  Six other counties have substantial levels of transmission. Every Maine county is advised to follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s face covering recommendation for indoor public settings.

As of Thursday morning, 150 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine and 66 of those patients are in intensive care. Twenty-six are on ventilators.

Maine CDC officials say the delta variant continues to drive the late summer surge of the virus, particularly among people who are not yet fully vaccinated.

Over 2,880 new vaccine doses were administered on Wednesday. About 63% of Maine residents are now fully vaccinated, according to the state’s vaccination dashboard.

New Brunswick Update

New Brunswick reported 11 new coronavirus cases and 21 recoveries on Wednesday. It drops the total number of active cases  in the province to 127. There are also three people in hospital. The province announced it has reached its vaccination target with 75.5 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers having two doses. Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, says 90 per cent of new cases are among those who are not fully vaccinated.


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