State health officials reported a record-breaking 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Franklin County on Thursday, a 50% increase over the previous single-day record of new cases from Dec. 12.

Across the state, there were 652 new cases of COVID-19, including 65 in Androscoggin County and 54 in Oxford County.

There were three additional deaths.

The state continues to work through a backlog of positive test results, Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a media briefing Wednesday. Case investigators were working through 2,900 positive results. Each positive result must be reviewed to confirm it as either a new case or a duplicate test for a previously recorded case.

That makes it difficult to determine if all new cases reported Thursday are from the 24 hours prior, though it is most likely the results are from no earlier than 36 hours prior.

Thursday’s case count brings the rolling average for the seven days ending Thursday in Franklin County to 5.07 cases per 10,000 residents, which is more than double where it stood one week ago when it was 2.25 cases per 10,000, and more seven-and-a-half times where it stood one month ago.

The seven-day rolling average in Androscoggin County on Thursday was 3.33 cases per 10,000 cases and in Oxford County, 2.98 cases per 10,000.

Statewide, there has been an average of 3.4 new daily cases per 10,000 residents for the seven-day period ending Thursday.

It is not exactly clear where the hot spots are in Franklin County. According to the latest ZIP code-level case data, the only town with a higher positivity rate than the county was Jay. As of Sept. 12, there were 628.7 cumulative cases per 10,000 residents of the county’s second-largest town. Cumulatively, 288 residents of Jay have had a confirmed case of COVID-19.

As of Thursday, Franklin County’s positivity rate was 561.9.

Farmington’s positivity rate as of Sept. 12 was 564.5 per 10,000 residents. There have been 555 cumulative cases there.

Between Sept. 5 and Sept. 12, Farmington and Jay recorded 19 and 10 new cases, respectively.

Franklin County also continues to lag behind in getting shots into arms. As of Thursday, 61% of all eligible residents were fully vaccinated, a rate that puts it ahead of only Piscataquis and Somerset counties.

Of eligible residents in Androscoggin and Oxford counties, 66.2% and 62.3%, respectively, are fully vaccinated.

Just over 73% of all Mainers 12 years and older are fully vaccinated.

According to the Sept. 7 update to the state dashboard with vaccination rates by ZIP code, the village of Stratton has the highest vaccination rate among all residents in Franklin County, with 99% fully vaccinated.

The Franklin County town with the lowest vaccination rate among all residents is Eustis, which has a rate of about 58%. There are about 170 people there unvaccinated.

Residents of Farmington and Jay are 74% and 76% fully vaccinated, respectively, and there are more than 2,500 people unvaccinated in the former.

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