The Latest:

Case Counts: Daily positive cases processed by the Maine CDC have declined significantly since a week ago

Hospitalizations: The number of Mainers hospitalized with COVID-19 has declined by 30 percent since a record high of 436 set on Jan. 13

Vaccines for young children: Maine is preparing for FDA and U.S. CDC approval of a vaccine for children under the age of 5, and will work to provide vaccination sites as soon as possible

The average number of positive COVID-19 tests that the state is processing on a daily basis has seen a significant reduction since last week, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The daily average of positive tests being processed is now at 1,057, Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah announced at Wednesday’s weekly coronavirus briefing. That number is down from a daily average of 1,165 last week.

Shah also noted that hospitalizations, ICU admissions and the number of people on ventilators has declined over a two-week incubation period, with 304 Mainers hospitalized on Wednesday, compared with 408 that were hospitalized two weeks ago.

The number of hospitalizations across the state has declined by 30 percent since the state’s record high of 436, set on Jan. 13.

Shah also said that the state’s wastewater monitoring program, which began in January, is showing preliminary data that suggests that the level of COVID-19 that is being detected in Maine’s wastewater is declining.

However, he added that the program will need to continue to collect data over the next few weeks and months to establish baseline data that will help illustrate COVID-19 wastewater trends, and whether the amount of coronavirus in wastewater is increasing, declining or staying the same.

The state is also preparing for the Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s approval of a Pfizer vaccine for children under the age of 5, and will work to provide accessible vaccination opportunities for parents seeking the vaccine, Shah said.

Those details are still being worked on, although Shah noted that he understands most parents will want to vaccinate their children at a medical office, rather than mass vaccination clinics that have been available to eligible children, teenagers and adults.

On Wednesday, another 1,098 positive COVID-19 cases, along with three more deaths, were reported by the Maine CDC.

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Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.