Students at Hermon Middle School, which was the first Bangor-area school to drop its masking policy, work on an English/Language Arts assignment on March 21. Credit: Sawyer Loftus / BDN

Community transmission rates of COVID-19 have dropped substantially in 15  Maine counties, with only one county reporting a moderate community transmission rate.

Data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday indicate that all counties, except Hancock County, have a low risk of community transmission.

Community transmission rates increased in Hancock County since last week, which saw community transmission risk rise to a moderate risk, Thursday data indicate.

This comes as the number of Mainers hospitalized with COVID-19 stayed below 100 for the past five days. On Friday, 93 Mainers were hospitalized with the virus, according to Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention data. That’s a nearly 77  percent decrease from the pandemic high of 436, set on Jan. 13.

Of those, 19 Mainers are in critical care and another five are on ventilators.

COVID-19 cases have been steadily falling throughout the state after reaching record levels throughout December, January and early February. On Friday, another 238 coronavirus cases were reported. The statewide death toll from the virus now stands at 2,193.

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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.