AUGUSTA — MaineGeneral hospital is seeing an increase in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, but the numbers are still lower than at the height of the pandemic. The uptick is driven by the unvaccinated, who make up the preponderance of the newly admitted.

A total of 185 new cases of COVID-19 were reported across Maine yesterday, according to state health officials, along with one new death. This brings the seven-day daily case average to 160. At this time last month, the average was 49.

On Friday, one COVID patient was in MaineGeneral’s critical-care unit (CCU), according to the hospital’s spokesperson, Joy McKenna. That was down from three patients hospitalized on Tuesday.

“We still have beds in CCU available,” McKenna said Friday. The hospital has a total of 16 CCU beds.

McKenna said 81.3% of staffers throughout the MaineGeneral Health system are vaccinated.

According to the Maine Health Care Worker COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard, 71.6% of staff at MaineGeneral were vaccinated as of July 31.

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Kennebec County has had a cumulative total of 6,879 cases, CDC data reveal, with 4,301 confirmed and 2,578 listed as probable. Altogether 185 people diagnosed with COVID have been hospitalized and there have been 85 deaths as of Wednesday.

On August 17, 55.98% of residents in Kennebec County were fully vaccinated.

MaineGeneral recently rolled out mobile vaccine clinics in communities with lower-than-average vaccination rates, around the same time the hospital’s mass vaccination site at the Augusta Civic Center was discontinued due to a decline in demand.

“We encourage people to get vaccinated and continue to offer vaccinations at MaineGeneral primary care practices and pop-up clinics,” McKenna said.

Upcoming vaccine clinics include one on Saturday during the Winthrop Art Fest at Sully’s on 6 Union Street, from 10 a.m. to noon. Another clinic is planned at the Windsor Fair, August 29 to Sept. 6, from noon to 6 p.m. every day.

“Our leadership remains in close contact with the Maine CDC and we continue to follow the data,” said McKenna.

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