In this Nov. 16, 2020,, file photo, Peter Kaurup wears a face covering to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, while putting out free hygiene kits outside the First Universalist Church in Norway. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Maine recorded six new deaths from the coronavirus on Saturday and 617 new cases.

Saturday’s report brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 29,019, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from 28,407 on Friday.

Of those, 24,218 have been confirmed positive, while 4,801 were classified as “probable cases,” the Maine CDC reported.

The deaths reported on Saturday bring the statewide toll to 432. Nearly all deaths have been in Mainers over age 60.

Saturday’s report is the eighth time in the past 11 days when new cases exceeded 400 and the fifth time this week when they crested 500.

That comes as elevated virus transmission continues its monthslong surge, bringing high levels of community transmission, which the Maine CDC defines as a case rate of 16 or more cases per 10,000 people, even to counties once largely spared the worst of the pandemic.

There are two criteria for establishing community transmission: at least 10 confirmed cases and that at least 25 percent of those are not connected to either known cases or travel.

So far, 1,158 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. As of Friday, 205 were currently hospitalized, with 56 in critical care and 26 on ventilators.

As of Friday, 43,362 Mainers had received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, while another 3,271 had received two doses.

A majority of the cases — 17,361 — have been in Mainers under age 50, while more cases have been reported in women than men, according to the Maine CDC.

As of Friday, there had been 1,251,474 negative test results out of 1,286,695 overall. Nearly 2.7 percent of all tests have come back positive, Maine CDC data show.

The coronavirus has hit hardest in Cumberland County, where 8,552 cases have been reported and where the bulk of virus deaths — 111 — have been concentrated. Other cases have been reported in Androscoggin (3,109), Aroostook (827), Franklin (514), Hancock (619), Kennebec (2,153), Knox (412), Lincoln (355), Oxford (1,305), Penobscot (2,538), Piscataquis (141), Sagadahoc (502), Somerset (847), Waldo (401), Washington (425) and York (6,308) counties. Information about where an additional 11 cases were reported wasn’t immediately available.

As of Saturday morning, the coronavirus had sickened 21,872,264 people in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as caused 368,947 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.

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