PORTLAND, ME – JUNE 9: A sign at Rising Tide in Portland announces the presence of a FEMA pop-up vaccination clinic behind the brewery. (Staff photo by Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer) Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

LEWISTON – The seven-day averages of new daily COVID-19 cases Wednesday in central and western Maine were at the lowest levels since late October, according to data from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of Wednesday, the rolling average of new daily COVID-19 cases over the past seven days was 2.7 in Androscoggin County, 0.3 in Franklin County and 1.4 in Oxford County. At the peak of the most recent surge in mid-April, those averages were 90.4, 13.7 and 33, respectively.

When adjusted for population, Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties’ seven-day average per 10,000 residents decreased by about 50% each from one week ago. In Androscoggin and Oxford counties, an average of 0.25 individuals per 10,000 residents tested positive for the disease, just above the statewide average of 0.21 cases per 10,000 residents. Franklin County’s seven-day average was just 0.09 cases per 10,000 residents.

A rolling average of new daily cases smooths out day-to-day blips and dips in numbers and provides a more accurate look at case rate trends over a period of time. The seven-day average per capita is most accurate for comparison’s sake.

Across the state, there were 13 new cases of COVID-19, three of which were in Androscoggin County and one from Oxford County. There were no new cases reported in Franklin County. State health officials reported two additional deaths, the first since last Thursday, bringing the total number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the state to 856 individuals.

The deaths were of a man and a woman who were residents of Penobscot and Piscataquis counties. One individual was in their 60s and the other was in their 80s.


The most recent reported death of a resident of the tri-county area due to COVID-19 was June 15, of an individual from Oxford County, bringing the total there to 67 deaths. Androscoggin County (85 deaths) and Franklin County (15 deaths) have not reported a death of a resident since the first week of June and mid-May, respectively.

Hospitalizations, too, are significantly lower than the levels they were at just four weeks ago. According to data collected daily by the Maine CDC, Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston had two patients hospitalized with COVID-19 on Wednesday, one of whom was in critical care and connected to a ventilator. St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center did not have any patients. Four weeks ago, on May 25, CMMC had 13 patients and St. Mary’s had six.

Across the state, there were 32 patients hospitalized Wednesday, including 16 patients in critical care, five of whom were on a ventilator. Four weeks ago, there were 118 hospitalizations with 20 out of the 43 patients in critical care connected to a ventilator.

At a media briefing Wednesday, Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah continued to encourage Mainers to get vaccinated.

“It’s really important to get vaccinated now, especially as we’re seeing new variants on the horizon, particularly the Delta variant you’ve likely already heard about,” Shah said.

Fifty-five percent of all Maine residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 57.3% have completed their inoculations. Between 48-49% of residents of Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties have gotten their final shots.


State health officials have detected four cases of the strain first identified in India late last year but Shah said there are likely more cases out there.

“This variant raises concerns: It’s more contagious, it’s probably more likely to land you in the hospital and could potentially be even more deadly,” he said.

Vaccinations are the best tool to fight against the further spread of the Delta variant, as well as other strains and the original “garden variety” COVID-19 virus, in Shah’s words.

But still, the CDC director warned: “The Delta variant threatens to undermine the progress that we as a country and we as a state have made against COVID … Not being vaccinated leaves you, your family and your community at greater risk.”

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