Distrust for authority driving low vaccination rates in rural Maine

Health

Bangor Daily News 06 October, 2021 - 12:00am 3 views

The states that have reported a higher number of deaths vary in size, geography and political leaning. Many relatively small, highly vaccinated states have reported a low number of deaths in both 2020 and 2021.

Maine has seen the highest percent increase at 33 percent, according to the CDC data. In 2021, it reported 697 deaths, up from 465 in 2020. Deaths peaked in the state in January, when 245 were reported. They continued to drop until August. In September, deaths again climbed to 115.

Florida has also reported a relatively high increase in deaths, according to the CDC. In 2020, 21,828 people died in Florida. That number grew to 31,992 so far in 2021. Florida has been at the center of the debate over how lawmakers should handle the virus, especially regarding mask mandates in school. Deaths peaked in August, when 10,128 people died from the virus—by far the state's deadliest month since the pandemic began.

Maine and Florida also top the list of the states with the oldest population, who are typically more vulnerable to COVID-19 than younger people. West Virginia and Vermont, which have reported a higher number of deaths, rank third and forth.

Some states with an increase in COVID deaths have low vaccination rates.

West Virginia, which has reported the lowest vaccination rate in the United States, has seen a 20 percent increase in COVID-19 deaths—from 1,560 in 2020 to 1,963 in 2021.

Several other states where less than half the population is fully vaccinated have seen an increase COVID deaths, including Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Arkansas. Cases in these states peaked in the early months of the year, but have grown significantly since August, when the Delta variant became the dominant strain of the virus in the U.S.

On the other hand, Vermont, which has the highest vaccine rate, has reported a slightly higher number of COVID deaths—149 in 2021, compared with 145 in 2020. As in Maine, most of the deaths were reported at the beginning of the year when the COVID-19 vaccine was not widely available to most Americans.

Hawaii, also a small, highly vaccinated state, has seen an increase in COVID deaths, though deaths peaked in August. Amid the surge in cases, experts have called for increased testing among tourists, according to USA Today.

Other states that have reported more COVID deaths in 2021 include Washington, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Kentucky, Nevada, California, Oregon, Tennessee and Alaska, according to the CDC data.

Both North Dakota and South Dakota—both hit hard by the pandemic in 2020—have reported a significantly lower number of COVID deaths in 2021, with a 362 and 263 percent drop, respectively.

New York City has also seen a large decrease in the number of COVID deaths. In 2020, when the city made headlines for being a hotspot, it reported 22,284 deaths. That number is 7,881 to date in 2021.

Nationwide, COVID deaths have decreased, as 312,946 have been reported so far in 2021, compared with 385,267. Public health experts say the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to avoid infection and death; even vaccinated people who contract the virus usually report more mild symptoms.

According to the CDC, only 5,226 vaccinated people have died from the virus.

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Oct. 5 update: Midcoast adds 68 new COVID-19 cases, one new death

PenBayPilot.com 06 October, 2021 - 05:32pm

AUGUSTA — The Maine CDC has updated its list of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the state of Maine.

Maine CDC conducts case investigations and contact tracing Monday through Friday. As a result, COVID-19 case data will be updated by 9:30 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Case data will not be updated Sunday and Monday or on holidays.

Knox County, since March 2020, has recorded 1,685 cases, 44 hospitalizations and 11 deaths. This data includes an increase of 12 new cases, one new hospitalization and one new death since the last update.

Waldo County, since March 2020, has recorded 2,126 cases, 62 hospitalizations and 30 deaths. This data includes an increase of 32 new cases and two new hospitalizations since the last update.

Lincoln County, since March 2020, has recorded 1,631 cases, 32 hospitalizations and four deaths. This data includes an increase of 24 new cases since the last update.

The above data represents the number of full-time Maine residents who have been tested for COVID-19, according to the Maine CDC.

“Data are about individuals who claim residency in Maine regardless of what state they were tested in, or where they are currently living,” the Maine CDC says. “For example, an individual who claims residency in Maine but lives in Florida will appear in this data even if they were living in Florida at the time of illness. County listings are by residence of patient, not location of the hospital or testing location.”

There have been more than 92,300 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 across the state since the outbreak began in March 2020. A confirmed case represents when SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected using a molecular amplification test (e.g. PCR) from any approved lab.

Across the state, 1,036 individuals have passed away since the start of the outbreak after testing positive for COVID-19.

The cumulative number of people hospitalized, at some point during their illness, across the state since the start of the outbreak stands at more than 2,500.

Looking at present statewide hospital COVID-19 data, there are presently 211 hospitalized, including 67 in critical care and 27 on a ventilator.

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Knox County sees another death, 12 more COVID-19 cases, CDC reports Tuesday

Courier-Gazette & Camden Herald 06 October, 2021 - 05:32pm

Statewide, an additional 897 cases and 10 deaths were reported over the past weekend.

The death of another Knox County resident and another resident admitted to the hospital due to COVID-19 were reported over the weekend by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

There were 12 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Knox County over the past weekend.

Since the pandemic began, 1,685 Knox County residents were diagnosed with the virus, 44 were admitted to hospitals and 11 died.

Statewide, an additional 897 cases were reported over the past weekend. There were 10 additional deaths reported statewide Oct. 5, increasing the number to 1,036. Five of the deaths were in Penobscot County and one each in Knox, Kennebec, Cumberland, Aroostook and Piscataquis counties.

An additional 15 people statewide were admitted to hospitals in Maine with COVID-19 during the past weekend, increasing that number to 2,536 since the pandemic began in March 2020. The CDC said last month that 65% of the people hospitalized are not fully vaccinated and 90% in critical care and on ventilators are not fully vaccinated.

Currently, 192 Mainers are hospitalized with the virus, 62 are in critical care units and 21 are on respirators.

The CDC reported Oct. 5 that 28,066 Knox County residents — slightly more than 79% of the eligible population — are vaccinated. That is an increase of 41 people over the past weekend.

Somerset County is at 61% vaccinated while Cumberland County is nearly 86%.

Health officials continue to urge people wear masks in indoor public places and to get vaccinated.

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