Wearing a mask at home was once again recommended for most of Maine because COVID was hospitalized

The masks are once again recommended for home visits in eight states of Maine, as 16 hospitals have risen and the state has the highest rate of COVID infection.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its county-level assessments Thursday night, noting that Cumberland County, the Middle Coast and most areas north of Maine have high levels of community COVID-19 and are at risk of straining local hospitals. In high-profile districts, the federal agency recommends that everyone wear a mask when they are at home in public.

What Maine experienced was a “war between the virus and humans,” the doctor said. Michael Osterholm, Infectious Diseases Specialist and Professor at the University of Minnesota. The increase in the number of illnesses and hospitalizations in Maine shows that the virus is winning the fight here, he said.

The highest-ranking Maine counties are Cumberland, Sagadakhok, Lincoln, Knox, Hancock, Penobskot, Piskatakis, and Aroos. Seven counties are now marked as intermediate, so masks are recommended for people who are elderly or have a basic medical condition. These counties are York, Kennebeck, Oxford, Franklin, Somerset, Waldo, and Washington. Androskoggin County has retained its low-profile mark, meaning the U.S. CDC does not officially recommend wearing a mask.

The community level is based on the number of new infections reported in the last seven days, the number of new admissions to the COVID-19 hospital, and the percentage of inpatient beds used by COVID-19 patients. The district of the highest category is considered to be in danger of strengthening the capacity of the hospital.

The change in risk assessment came after a sharp increase in cases in Maine and the Northeast as a result of the emergence of three omicron subvariants, each of which is more contagious than the omicron strain, which led to a record increase in winter activity. Maine is experiencing its latest in a week or two from the densely populated states of the Northeast.

According to Osterholm, the virus is trying to spread among human owners, and there are options and sub-options for this. This is happening in the state of Maine, he said, with sub-variants of the omicron variant leading to an increase in work in the winter.

It is difficult to predict what subvariants will emerge, but it is easy to predict when new versions of the virus will emerge, said Osterholm, a member of the Transitional Advisory Board COVID-19 appointed by President-elect Joe. Biden in November 2020.

“The whole country isn’t done with that,” he said, “even if people want to think we’re like that.”

THE GOOD NEWS

According to Osterholm, the good news for Maine in the current wave is that the increase in the population’s immunity should not bring the recent epidemic to the level observed in December and January, as well as limit the number of deaths and serious illnesses. Cases of COVID requiring hospitalization in intensive care units. According to him, the number of severe cases does not correspond to the peaks reached last winter.

The number of patients with COVID-19 in Maine hospitals reached 203 on Friday morning, an increase of 50 percent over the previous two weeks. 35 of them are in intensive care, four are on artificial respiration.

The state also reported 930 new cases and 12 additional deaths on Friday. Not all government-reported deaths were reported in the previous 24 hours. Maine health officials review death certificates and periodically add deaths that were not counted weeks or months ago.

According to the U.S. CDC, as of Friday, Maine had recorded 421 new cases per 100,000 residents in the last seven days, more than three times the national average of 142 cases. I am followed by Rhode Island, Vermont and New York.

In recent weeks, new and contagious versions of the virus have spread to the region in Mende and other northeastern states. According to data released by the state, the OMicron BA.2 sub-variant and two closely related sub-variants – BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1 – now account for 80 percent of new infections in Maine.

Maine’s infectious disease experts supported Osterholm’s suggestion that the current epidemic would not be as widespread as the omicron variant during the winter, but that the virus would not be completely eradicated.

THE VIRUS SHOULD BE REDUCED IN HOT WEATHER

According to Suzanne Moreshched, vice president for health prevention at Northern Lights Health, the latest version of the virus is more contagious, but less severe.

According to him, Maine has a number of closed sessions during the transition period and still for communities and families, such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and high school graduation parties. But when the summer comes, he says, most people go out, and the spread of the virus could slow in warmer weather.

However, Moreshead said there is a possibility of another revival in the fall, with meetings likely to move back home.

COVID will be with us in the near future, he said. “It’s waxing and shrinking.”

Laura L., a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist in Maine. Blaisdell said public health workers are happy that 88 percent of Miners have been vaccinated. But that still leaves 150,000 unarmed miners, he said, and “the virus finds you.”

He said the increase in the number of COVID patients requiring hospitalization in Maine shows how quickly the understanding of how well or poorly the pandemic has been managed is changing.

“We fought well again at the beginning of the war, but (at the moment) we can’t imagine losing the war in terms of hospitalization,” Blaisdell said. “We have to be humble to predict what will happen.”

Dr. Maine CDC director Nirav Shah said it was not available on Friday, but his office said the increase in staffing was “in line with other jurisdictions that now have common omicron subvariants.”

“It helps people limit their COVID-19 risk,” Maine CDC spokesman Robert Long said in a statement after the federal CDC’s advice.

Long-term public health officials advise Miners to be aware of vaccinations and to plan with a health care provider to receive Paxlovid, COVID-19 treatment, if they are positive for COVID-19, to reduce the risk of hospitalization.

BANGOR SCHOOLS NEED A MASK

Bangor school officials said on Friday that masks would be required in schools next week as the virus spread.

In Portland, officials say they have seen an increase in COVID-19 both in local sewage detection and in school testing, and they recommend wearing masks inside schools, but are not required, except for those who pass a positive test and return to school. after the isolation period.

The increase in COVID cases in Maine is consistent around the state, and according to MaineHealth, the main organization of Maine Medical Center in Portland, and seven other hospitals in Maine, there is no specific area that is significantly higher than all other COVID rates.

There are two main groups of people who are hospitalized due to a dangerous disease, the doctor said. Dora Ann Mills, MaineHealth Chief Health Officer and former State CDC Director. These are vaccinated older people and unvaccinated young people.

Mills and other public health officials are urging Maine residents to protect themselves from COVID by wearing masks, getting vaccinated and strengthening, gathering as much as possible outside and getting tested regularly.


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