The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 265 new cases of the coronavirus Saturday as a downward trend in infections continued and officials warn people against attending large gatherings for the Super Bowl over the weekend.

Two additional deaths were also reported Saturday, bringing the number of people who have died with the virus to 634 statewide. In total there have been 41,064 reported cases of COVID-19, including 32,901 confirmed and 8,163 probable cases.

The seven-day daily average of new cases stood at 271 on Saturday, down from 367 one week ago and 479 on Jan. 1. New cases were reported in all of Maine’s 16 counties on Saturday, with York County reporting 60 new cases followed by Cumberland County with 58. Kennebec County reported an additional 27 cases followed by Oxford County with 22.

While recent numbers have indicated a positive downward trend in the virus’s trajectory, public health officials are warning people to be vigilant this weekend and avoid large gatherings around the Super Bowl, which they fear could add to the virus’s spread.

 

“As tempting as it is to go watch the game at your favorite watering hole or get together at someone else’s house, please don’t forget the silent and ever-present danger of COVID-19, which could ruin your game or even take your life,” said Gov. Janet Mills at a media briefing Thursday.

The two additional deaths reported Saturday were a man and woman both age 80 or older. One was a resident of York County and one was a resident of Penobscot County.

A total of 132 people were hospitalized with the virus on Saturday, including 40 in critical care and 21 on a ventilator. Statewide, hospitalizations this past week fell to their lowest levels since early December, although some hospitals in Lewiston and western Maine reported their worst weeks of the pandemic. For the week ending Thursday, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston was caring for an average of 10.6 confirmed coronavirus patients per day, up from 10.1 the week before.

While less than 4 percent of Maine’s total population has received both doses of COVID-19 vaccinations, the pace of vaccinations is picking up. The state’s first two mass vaccination sites, at Scarborough Downs and the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, opened this past week. Officials are also discussing the potential for additional sites, possibly in Sanford and Augusta.

As of Friday more than 187,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines had been administered, including 136,741 first doses and 50,314 second doses. About 10 percent of the state’s population has received at least the first dose. People ages 70 and older, who have been prioritized in the state’s vaccination plans because of a higher risk of death, make up 50,520 of the first doses administered, or about 37 percent.

Maine is currently in the early stages of Phase 1B of its vaccination plans, which includes older Mainers and adults of all ages with high-risk medical conditions. If vaccinations continue at their current pace, the state said it plans to open up vaccinations for those ages 65 to 69 by early March. Phase 1B also includes certain critical front-line workers, though no specific decisions have been made yet about what types of workers might be next.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, there were more than 105.6 million cases of COVID-19 globally and 2.3 million deaths as of Saturday afternoon. The U.S. reported 26.8 million cases and 461,242 deaths.

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