The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday reported 230 cases of the novel coronavirus and no additional deaths, continuing Maine’s surge as a federal official apologized this weekend for hiccups in vaccine distribution.

There were 162 patients with COVID-19 in Maine hospitals on Sunday, and the state’s cumulative cases rose to 18,946, an increase of over 3,000 in just one week. Of those cumulative cases, 16,457 have been confirmed by testing and 2,489 are considered probable cases of the coronavirus.

Two hundred ninety-two people have died with COVID-19 since the pandemic began in Maine, and 10,794 have recovered from the disease. The Maine CDC’s investigation team is stretched by the surge, however, and likely is behind in its tally of recoveries, the agency said Sunday. That makes it harder to calculate active case numbers.

The state’s seven-day average of new daily cases stood at 437.7 on Sunday, compared to 368.6 a week earlier.

An Army general in charge of distributing vaccines through the Trump administration’s “Operation Warp Speed” program apologized on Saturday for miscommunications that he said slowed the arrival of doses. A second vaccine, from Moderna, was approved on Friday, but officials in Maine and elsewhere have been told by federal officials that they’ll receive fewer doses of the first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine than they were expecting.

“I failed. I’m adjusting. I am fixing and we will move forward from there,” Gen. Gustave Perna told reporters in a telephone briefing.

Perna said he was now expecting to deliver about 20 million doses, in a combination of both vaccines, to states by the first week of January.

As of Sunday, 4,493 people had been vaccinated for COVID-19 in Maine, the Maine CDC said.

Receiving the vaccine is just the first step for front-line hospital staff, however. They are still caring for more COVID-19 patients than ever, watching some of them die lonely, isolated deaths in sealed-off rooms. Hospital workers who spoke to the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram last week said they were feeling fine after receiving their shots, but also were looking ahead to the difficult work of fighting the surge and persuading the general public to get vaccinated.

County by county in Maine since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 2,152 coronavirus cases in Androscoggin, 414 in Aroostook, 5,745 in Cumberland, 384 in Franklin, 474 in Hancock, 1,398 in Kennebec, 296 in Knox, 235 in Lincoln, 869 in Oxford, 1,563 in Penobscot, 91 in Piscataquis, 288 in Sagadahoc, 629 in Somerset, 335 in Waldo, 298 in Washington, and 3,773 in York.

By age, 15.1 percent of patients were under 20, while 17.3 percent were in their 20s, 13.8 percent were in their 30s, 12.6 percent were in their 40s, 14.9 percent were in their 50s, 11.8 percent were in their 60s, 7.7 percent were in their 70s, and 6.7 percent were 80 or older.

Women still make up a slight majority of cases, which has grown slightly in recent weeks to approach 52 percent.

Of the 162 patients with COVID-19 in Maine hospitals on Sunday, 49 were in intensive care and 18 were on ventilators. The state had 95 intensive care unit beds available of a total 380, and 231 ventilators available of 315. There were also 444 alternative ventilators.

Around the world on Sunday evening, there were nearly 76.7 million known cases of COVID-19 and 1.69 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States had 17.8 million cases and 317,408 deaths.


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