The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday reported 120 cases of the novel coronavirus and two additional deaths after continued low case counts led state officials to ease some pandemic restrictions last week.

The seven-day average of new daily cases fell to 190.1, far below its peak of 625.3 on Jan. 14, but still several times the low averages of the summer and early fall. Spurred by the recent drop in case numbers, state officials moved all Maine counties to the lowest-risk “green” setting last week, meaning all schools are considered safe for in-person instruction, with some anti-infection precautions.

Maine’s cumulative COVID-19 cases rose to 42,529 on Sunday. Of those cases, 33,935 have been confirmed by testing and 8,594 are considered probable cases of COVID-19.

Six hundred forty-nine people have died with COVID-19 since the pandemic began in Maine. The two deaths reported Sunday were of 80-year-old women in Cumberland County.

Updated vaccination numbers weren’t yet available Sunday morning, but as of Saturday, Maine had given 172,725 people the first dose of a vaccine against COVID-19, with an additional 70,757 having received a second dose, for a total of 243,482 cumulative vaccinations. That means 12.85 percent of Maine’s 1.3 million people had received their first dose.

York County, however, is lagging in its distribution of vaccines. The state’s southernmost county has recorded the most cases per capita and about 20 percent of all cumulative cases since the pandemic began, but had given only 11 percent of vaccine doses administered as of Friday, according to Maine CDC statistics.

 

Neighboring Cumberland and Sagadahoc counties have inoculated more than 14 percent of their residents, while York County has given vaccines to only about 9 percent.

The lag in vaccine rates has frustrated York County officials, who note that the region has been an epicenter for viral spread in recent months, yet has only two vaccination clinics. Those are located at Southern Maine Health Care’s hospital in Biddeford and at York Hospital; for comparison, Cumberland County has eight clinics.

Hand-in-hand with the lack of distributors is a lack of doses. State health officials say that, for now, it’s not worth sending precious shots to places where they can’t be put into arms.

“I’m not going to send doses to places where they can’t be administered,” Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, said in response to a recent question about vaccine distribution in York County. “I’ve got to make sure that there is capacity on the ground to administer those doses; otherwise sending a bunch of doses to somewhere doesn’t help anybody with anything.”

Shah added, however, that he hoped to help improve the distribution system in the county soon. And as it happens, a mass vaccination clinic is expected to open in Sanford at the end of this month. The clinic is slated to open in the former Marshalls store off Main Street.

County by county as of Sunday, there had been 4,609 coronavirus cases in Androscoggin, 1,227 in Aroostook, 11,948 in Cumberland, 873 in Franklin, 852 in Hancock, 3,462 in Kennebec, 612 in Knox, 538 in Lincoln, 2,117 in Oxford, 3,678 in Penobscot, 241 in Piscataquis, 848 in Sagadahoc, 1,210 in Somerset, 566 in Waldo, 692 in Washington, and 9,055 in York.

By age, 15.2 percent of patients were under 20, while 18 percent were in their 20s, 14.4 percent were in their 30s, 13.1 percent were in their 40s, 15.3 percent were in their 50s, 11.7 percent were in their 60s, 6.7 percent were in their 70s, and 5.7 percent were 80 or older.

Of the 101 patients with COVID-19 in Maine hospitals on Sunday, 28 were in intensive care and 10 were on ventilators. The state had 112 intensive care unit beds available of a total 389, and 237 ventilators available of 319. There were also 446 alternative ventilators.

Around the world on Sunday night, there were more than 108.7 million known cases of COVID-19 and nearly 2.4 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States had 27.6 million cases and 485,300 deaths.

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