The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday reported 414 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death, the fifth straight day of new cases over 400.

People under 30 accounted for 186 cases on Saturday, or 45 percent of the daily total. But Maine’s vaccination effort is roaring forward, now topping the nation in percentage of residents having received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. The national average for full vaccination is 24.3 percent, and Maine’s was 31.4 percent on Saturday.

Maine’s cumulative COVID-19 cases rose to 56,939 on Saturday. Of those, 42,807 have been confirmed by testing and 14,132 are considered probable cases of COVID-19. The seven-day average of new daily cases was 456.4 on Saturday, rapidly approaching highs seen in this year’s January surge.

Seven hundred sixty-four people have died with COVID-19 since the pandemic began in Maine. The person reported Saturday to have died was a man in his 60s from Androscoggin County, the Maine CDC said.

Before Saturday, new cases topped 500 for four days in a row. The seven-day average rose by over a hundred cases in the past week.

Maine’s public health officials are now focusing on getting shots into arms as quickly as possible.

“Large-scale mass vaccination sites of this nature are our way out of the pandemic,” Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, said Friday. “Vaccinating is our focus right now, because that will ultimately help us tamp down the pandemic.”

Maine’s high vaccination rate stems from demand among the population, as well as efficient distribution of doses to make sure it’s available where it’s needed, Shah said. A key component of the state’s immunization drive is mass vaccination sites, he said Friday as he toured a site at the Portland Expo.

State leaders had been hoping to set up many “pop-up” clinics in rural areas to reach Mainers with the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but those shots have been paused amid reports that the vaccine may have been associated with blood clots. The reports occurred in a handful of people out of millions who have already received doses.

With vaccine supplies soaring and safety assured for the other two major variants, from Pfizer and Moderna, Bowdoin College on Friday became the first institution of higher education in Maine to require immunization for students to return to campus for the fall semester. Students will need to provide proof of vaccination by Aug. 13 and faculty or staff by Aug. 24.

Many other colleges around the country are requiring immunization, including Duke, Rutgers, Brown, Cornell, Northeastern and Notre Dame.

By Saturday morning, Maine had given 558,306 people the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 421,765 had received a final dose. Out of the state’s population of 1.3 million, 41.53 percent had received their first dose.

County by county as of Saturday, there had been 6,324 coronavirus cases in Androscoggin, 1,556 in Aroostook, 15,277 in Cumberland, 1,131 in Franklin, 1,193 in Hancock, 5,070 in Kennebec, 898 in Knox, 768 in Lincoln, 2,916 in Oxford, 5,048 in Penobscot, 416 in Piscataquis, 1,159 in Sagadahoc, 1,657 in Somerset, 773 in Waldo, 807 in Washington and 11,942 in York.

By age, 17.1 percent of patients were under 20, while 18.6 percent were in their 20s, 14.5 percent were in their 30s, 13.3 percent were in their 40s, 15 percent were in their 50s, 10.9 percent were in their 60s, 5.7 percent were in their 70s, and 4.7 percent were 80 or older.

Cumberland County saw the most new cases over the past week, with 644 compared to York’s 603 and Androscoggin’s 502.

Of the 99 patients with COVID-19 in Maine hospitals on Saturday, 40 were in intensive care and 15 were on ventilators. The state had 78 intensive care unit beds available of a total 382, and 233 ventilators available of 319. There were also 448 alternative ventilators.

Around the world late Saturday afternoon, there were over 140.2 million known cases of COVID-19 and 3 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States had 31.6 million cases and 566,714 deaths.


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