Seven hundred and forty-eight new cases of COVID-19 have been identified by the MaineCDC according to Dr. Nirav Shah, Director of the State agency. Although this number is alarming, it is in large part due to improvements within the process itself.
In other words, streamlining has occurred that is responsible for the much larger than normal number of cases reported at todays briefing. Specifically, twelve new staff members have been added, the process of identifying the cases has been streamlined and improvements have been made to IT. Dr. Shah was quick to point out that this larger than usual number of identified cases could continue because of the streamlining that has occurred recently. There had been an extensive backlog of paperwork according to Dr. Shah.
There have been 311 deaths in the state. Deceased seniors continue to bear the brunt of the number of individuals deceased from the COVID-19. Over the weekend, the USCDC issued a change in its priorities. The revision states that individuals over 75 years old should be priorities in receiving the vaccine. Dr. Shah said that revision is still under consideration. The total number of cases in Maine is up to 20,491 cases. The 7-day positivity rate continues to go down ever so slightly. It now stands at 4.28%, well below the national average. Dr. Shah did not discuss new outbreaks at today’s briefing – a departure from his norm.
At least eight thousand and one hundred individuals have been vaccinated as of early this morning Dr. Shah said. “Supply is our primary issue. We don’t have all we need yet,” said Dr. Shah. That was because of a smaller supply of the vaccine received in Maine than was originally promised by Operation Warp Speed. Around fourteen other states were put in the same bind as Maine. One individual has been identified as having a serious reaction to the Pfizer vaccine. It was administered at Maine Medical Center, Portland. However, that individual spent last night in the hospital and was said to be doing well today.
Governor Janet Mills, who participated in the briefing once again today, urged Mainers to avoid all holiday gatherings if possible. Otherwise, keep gatherings safe and small. She will be delivering family gifts to the doorsteps of their homes. But she will not be seeing them in order to help keep her family and her safe from the virus.
There will be no briefing this Friday because it is Christmas Day.