The number of Maine people hospitalized for COVID-19 remained steady Monday, but the state reported a decline in the number of patients in critical care and on ventilators.

Maine had 225 patients hospitalized Monday, matching Sunday’s total and down from a pandemic record 235 on Saturday. Patients in critical care decreased from 81 on Sunday to 70 on Monday, and those on ventilators declined from 36 on Sunday to 33 on Monday.

If Maine follows national trends, hospitalizations will soon decline. After increasing for much of the summer, the seven-day average of daily new hospitalizations in the U.S. declined by 14.4 percent to 9,636 per day for the week of Sept. 8-14, the latest for which federal data was available, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Case counts in Maine will be updated Tuesday, as the state does not release data on new COVID-19 cases on Sundays and Mondays.

Nationally, case counts have declined by 17 percent over the past week, and are now at 36 cases per 100,000 residents on a seven-day daily average. Last week, seven-day daily average case counts in Maine were near the national average, at 34.9. Connecticut and California have the lowest virus prevalence in the nation, both with 17 cases per 100,000 or less, while Alaska currently has the most COVID-19 cases per capita, at 142.6 per 100,000.

Meanwhile, 869,289 Maine people have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, representing about 65 percent of the state’s 1.3 million residents, according to the Maine CDC. Maine is the third most-vaccinated state in the nation, trailing only Vermont and Connecticut.

Children ages 5-11 could soon be eligible to get vaccinated, with Pfizer expected to submit data from its study of that age group to federal regulators for emergency use authorization this week. If all goes as planned, elementary aged schoolchildren could be getting shots by Halloween or shortly after.

Among those age 12-19 in Maine, there are wide geographic disparities, according to Maine CDC data. Fifty-eight percent of 12- to 18-year-olds in Maine have gotten their final dose, and 72.7 percent are fully vaccinated in Cumberland County. But in Somerset, Washington and Franklin counties, vaccination rates for 12- to 18-year-olds was about 40 percent, a difference of more than 30 percentage points.

As of late last week, Maine reported 72 outbreaks and 2,080 COVID-19 cases in schools.

Federal regulators last week approved booster shots for those age 65 and older, those with high-risk medical conditions and front-line workers, such as health care workers. President Biden, 78, received his booster shot Monday.


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