Another 279 coronavirus cases have been reported across the state, Maine health officials said Sunday.
Sunday’s report brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 29,298, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from 29,019 on Saturday.
Of those, 24,430 have been confirmed positive, while 4,868 were classified as “probable cases,” the Maine CDC reported.
Sunday marked the first time since Dec. 20 when the Maine CDC reported no new coronavirus deaths, leaving the statewide toll at 432. Nearly all deaths have been in Mainers over age 60.
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It also saw the lowest increase in new coronavirus cases since Dec. 20 when 229 were reported. Sunday broke a six-day streak of new cases surging above 400 and is the first time this year when new cases dipped below 300.
That one-day dip comes as Maine continues to see new cases rising to higher and higher levels amid a monthslong surge in virus transmission, 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.
Maine’s seven-day average for new coronavirus cases is 530.9, down from 540.6 a day ago, up from 530.4 a week ago and up from 329.3 a month ago.
So far, 1,158 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. Of those, 190 people are currently hospitalized, with 57 in critical care and 21 on ventilators.
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Maine CDC spokesperson Robert Long said Sunday that 48,937 Mainers have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, with 5,620 who have received two doses.
A majority of the cases — 17,512 — 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 have been 1,251,474 negative test results out of 1,286,695 overall. Nearly 2.7 percent of all tests have come back positive, the most recently available Maine CDC data show.
The coronavirus has hit hardest in Cumberland County, where 8,598 cases have been reported and where the bulk of virus deaths — 111 — have been concentrated. Other cases have been reported in Androscoggin (3,173), Aroostook (851), Franklin (514), Hancock (621), Kennebec (2,181), Knox (415), Lincoln (355), Oxford (1,311), Penobscot (2,555), Piscataquis (142), Sagadahoc (506), Somerset (853), Waldo (403), Washington (429) and York (6,389) counties. Information about where an additional two cases were reported wasn’t immediately available.
As of Sunday morning, the coronavirus had sickened 22,177,373 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 372,884 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.