In this Dec. 8, 2020, file photo, a sign equates mask wearing with caring for neighbors in downtown Portland. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Another eight Mainers have died as health officials on Thursday reported 808 more coronavirus cases across the state.

Thursday’s report brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 31,958, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from 31,150 on Wednesday.

Of those, 26,334 have been confirmed positive, while 5,624 were classified as “probable cases,” the Maine CDC reported.

An Aroostook County resident, two Cumberland County residents, three Penobscot County residents and two York County residents have succumbed to the virus, bringing the statewide toll to 461. Nearly all deaths have been in Mainers over age 60.

TRACKING THE CORONAVIRUS IN MAINE

It’s the second time in as many days when Maine saw new cases surge above 800. On Wednesday, Maine saw new cases climb to a new record high — 824 — the first time since the pandemic began when they reached above 800.

Maine’s seven-day average for new coronavirus cases is 622.4, up from 582.1 a day ago, up from 488.4 a week ago and up from 364.1 a month ago. Before this surge began in late October, Maine’s seven-day average was hovering in the 30s.

The Maine CDC continues to report widespread high levels of community transmission, defined as a case rate of 16 or more per 10,000 people, even in 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, 1,217 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. Of those, 193 are currently hospitalized with 63 in critical care and 23 on a ventilator.

As of Thursday, 56,355 Mainers have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, with 10,132 who have received two doses.

A majority of the cases — 19,064 — have been in Mainers under age 50, while more cases have been reported in women than men, according to the Maine CDC.

As of Thursday, there have been 1,312,811 negative test results out of 1,351,830 overall. About 2.8 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 9,436 cases have been reported and where the bulk of virus deaths — 115 — have been concentrated. Other cases have been reported in Androscoggin (3,462), Aroostook (951), Franklin (545), Hancock (659), Kennebec (2,383), Knox (462), Lincoln (378), Oxford (1,485), Penobscot (2,696), Piscataquis (152), Sagadahoc (575), Somerset (907), Waldo (415), Washington (466) and York (6,973) counties. Information about where an additional 13 cases were reported wasn’t immediately available.

As of Thursday evening, the coronavirus had sickened 23,253,252 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 387,910 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.

An earlier version of this report misstated the cumulative total of coronavirus cases in Penobscot County and the total number of Mainers vaccinated against COVID-19.

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