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178 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Maine Friday; more than 328,000 vaccine doses administered

Find Bangor, Portland, Maine daily COVID updates on outbreak and vaccine distribution as we work together to separate facts from fear. Friday, February 26, 2021.



The Maine CDC did not report any additional deaths of people with COVID-19. The state death toll stands at 701.

The Maine CDC reported 178 additional COVID-19 cases in the state.

Of the 44,295 total COVID-19 cases in Maine, 34,952 were confirmed by tests and 9,343 are probable.

  • Total currently hospitalized = 68
  • In critical care = 23
  • On a ventilator = 9
  • Available critical care beds = 112
  • Total critical care beds = 395
  • Available ventilators = 252
  • Total ventilators = 319
  • Alternative ventilators = 446

Cumulatively in Maine, 328,357 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 217,667 have been first doses, and 110,690 have been second/final doses.

Maine's 7-day positivity rate for PCR tests is 1.22 percent.

Maine adopts age-based COVID-19 vaccine strategy, those age 60+ eligible starting next week

In a press conference on Friday, Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced the state is adopting an age-based strategy for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, and announced Maine residents age 60 and older will be eligible starting next Wednesday, March 3. 

Maine has been in Phase 1b of its original phased vaccination plan, which deemed those age 70 and older eligible for the vaccine. Since the vaccination process began in December, 328,357 total doses of the vaccine have been administered, with 110,690 of those being second and final doses. 

READ MORE: Maine adopts age-based COVID-19 vaccine strategy, those age 60+ eligible starting next week

The Maine CDC's next state coronavirus update is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2.

Credit: NCM


The Maine CDC reported an additional 217 cases of COVID-19 Thursday. Of those cases, 34,820 were confirmed by tests and 9,297 are probable.

An additional 24 deaths were reported Thursday. This does not mean all of these deaths occurred Wednesday. Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah will likely shed more light on when these deaths occurred during the coronavirus briefing, set for 2 p.m. Thursday. 

In total, 701 people have died with COVID-19 in Maine.

Cumulatively in Maine, 316,462 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 211,451 have been first doses, and 105,011 have been second/final doses.

Thursday Coronavirus Briefing with Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah and Maine DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew

In the past 48 hours, the Maine CDC has reported a total of 41 deaths, which Shah said is "a concerning number, no doubt." But he explained that of those 41 deaths, 39 are a result of the Maine CDC's ongoing review of death certificates. 

Shah said those 39 deaths occurred from January 26 through mid-February. The vast majority of the total 41 deaths reported Thursday were among individuals age 60 and over, which Shah said is consistent with mortality trends across the state. 

The 24 additional deaths reported Thursday include: including two residents of Androscoggin County, three residents of Cumberland County, two residents of Franklin County, two residents of Hancock County, one resident of Lincoln County, two residents of Kennebec County, four residents of Oxford County, three residents of Penobscot County, two residents of Sagadahoc County, and three residents of York County. Eleven of the people who died were women, while 13 were men. Two were between 60 and 69 years old, nine were between 70 and 79 years old, and 13 were 80 or older. All of the additional deaths reported today result from a review of death certificates, the Maine CDC said.

Currently in Maine, 67 are hospitalized with COVID-19, 22 of whom are in intensive care; eight are on a ventilator. 

The seven-day PCR test positivity rate is 1.17 percent at a volume of 668 tests per 100,000 people. The seven-day antigen test positivity rate is 3.1 percent at a volume of 170 tests per 100,000 people.

Next week, Maine will be allocated 16,380 first doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and 13,700 first doses of the Moderna vaccine. Shah said this is an increase of about 2,340 doses of Pfizer vaccine compared to this week's allocation. The number of Moderna doses is holding steady, Shah said. 

In total, Maine will receive 30,080 first doses of vaccine next week. In addition, a separate allocation of 8,600 first doses will be sent to retail pharmacy partners, such as Walmart and Walgreens. 

Shah said even before the possible upcoming approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Maine will be receiving the highest amount of vaccine doses since mid-December, when the vaccination process began. 

Shah said on Thursday, an expert panel of individual scientists who advise the U.S. FDA is meeting to discuss the Johnson & Johnson vaccine candidate. Shah said if the U.S. FDA ultimately issues an emergency use authorization for that vaccine, that vaccine could start to arrive in Maine next week. 

"If that happens, we will be ready," Shah said.

RELATED: Maine weekly order for COVID-19 vaccines largest since effort began

Lambrew announced that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is now offering BinaxNOW COVID-19 rapid antigen tests to 1,726 child care providers in the state, who have the capacity to serve 41,792 children.

The tests can detect COVID-19 via nasal swab in under 15 minutes. Its use can also help preserve the child care workforce, Lambrew said, allowing for greater continuity of care for children, as well as reduce the spread of COVID-19 among child care settings in Maine. 

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