The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday reported 363 cases of COVID-19 and one death, as Maine’s case numbers approach mid-January levels, despite the state’s efficient vaccine drive.

People under 30 accounted for 188 of Sunday’s new reported cases, or 52 percent. Public health experts believe that a rise in cases among young people across New England stems from a variety of factors, including more transmissible virus variants, the opening of sports and social activities, and “pandemic fatigue” that leads people to forgo precautions.

Maine’s cumulative COVID-19 cases rose to 57,285 on Sunday. Of those, 43,029 have been confirmed by testing and 14,256 are considered probable cases of COVID-19. The seven-day average of new daily cases rose to 475 on Sunday, rising ever closer to the high of 624 that Maine saw during January’s surge.

Seven hundred sixty-five people have died with COVID-19 since the pandemic began in Maine. The person reported Sunday to have died was a woman over 80 years old from Kennebec County, the Maine CDC said.

Age distributions of new COVID-19 cases paint a similar picture across New England. In the last two weeks of March, people under 30 accounted for 47 percent of new cases in Massachusetts. Forty-six percent of new cases in Connecticut were among the same age group in the first two weeks of April.

But despite the dire numbers, health experts say they’re hopeful that cases will start to drop soon. Young people are the latest group to be eligible for vaccines, and as they build immunity, those numbers hopefully will decline.


“My expectation is we are going to see things start to stabilize and then drop,” Samuel Scarpino, assistant professor at Northeastern University and director of the Emergent Epidemics Lab, said in an interview. “We opened up to these younger age groups for vaccinations in the last week to month in a widespread way, which means we are probably four to five weeks out to these folks having immunity.”

Maine, meanwhile, is first in the nation for its speed at delivering doses compared to population, leading New Mexico, Alaska, Rhode Island and Connecticut in the percentage of residents fully immunized.

As of Sunday, 564,283 Mainers had received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 427,535 had received their final dose. Out of Maine’s population of 1.3 million, 41.98 percent have received their first dose, according to Maine CDC statistics.

County by county as of Sunday, there had been 6,447 coronavirus cases in Androscoggin, 1,560 in Aroostook, 15,321 in Cumberland, 1,142 in Franklin, 1,194 in Hancock, 5,096 in Kennebec, 899 in Knox, 774 in Lincoln, 2,958 in Oxford, 5,068 in Penobscot, 420 in Piscataquis, 1,169 in Sagadahoc, 1,687 in Somerset, 773 in Waldo, 808 in Washington and 11,965 in York.

By age, 17.2 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.

Of the 104 patients with COVID-19 in Maine hospitals on Sunday, 33 were in intensive care and 14 were on ventilators. The state had 99 intensive care unit beds available of a total 383, and 242 ventilators available of 319. There were also 448 alternative ventilators.

Around the world late Sunday afternoon, there were 140.8 million known cases of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide, the virus now has claimed over 3 million lives, as of this weekend. The United States had 31.6 million cases and nearly 567,000 deaths.

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