The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday reported roughly 189 new cases of COVID-19, and no additional deaths, as a technological problem forced the public health agency to distribute incomplete statistics for its daily update.

The Maine CDC did not report a number of new daily cases on Sunday, but did update the number of cumulative cases to 36,787 from Saturday’s 36,598. The difference between those numbers — 189 cases — is only a rough estimate of how many new cases were detected Sunday because, in reporting a new daily case number, the agency usually takes into account probable cases that later tested negative, among other variable factors.

Of the state’s cumulative coronavirus cases, 29,913 have been confirmed by testing and 6,874 are considered probable cases of COVID-19.

Five hundred forty-four people have died with COVID-19 since the pandemic began in Maine, and 189 patients are now in hospitals with the disease.

As of Sunday, Maine had given 86,605 people the first dose of a vaccine against COVID-19, with an additional 22,657 having received a second dose, for a total of 109,262 cumulative vaccinations.

Maine’s senators were scheduled to discuss details of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief proposal with a White House official on Sunday, even as Republican opposition to the package has ramped up. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King are members of a bipartisan “Group of 16” that aims to build consensus around the next stage of pandemic relief.

 

With some senior Republican senators saying they’re likely not on board, the Biden administration is facing a choice of whether to accept scaled-down, bipartisan legislation or try to push through a bigger bill with only Democratic votes – in a 50-50 Senate.

Meanwhile, the prolonged strain of the pandemic is depleting staffing in Maine’s school districts. When exposure to COVID-19 forces staff members to quarantine, already thinly stretched schools are sometimes forced to move online, even as the overall virus transmission rate within schools remains low.

Gov. Janet Mills has responded to the education manpower shortage by loosening requirements for teaching certifications. Mills has issued more than 600 one-year emergency certifications and reciprocal certifications, which recognize an education professional’s credentials in another state. By executive order, Mills also waived a previously required standardized test to certify another 2,781 teachers.

County-by-county data and age-based data weren’t updated on Sunday because of the Maine CDC’s technological issue.

As of Saturday, there had been a cumulative 4,009 coronavirus cases in Androscoggin, 1,083 in Aroostook, 10,563 in Cumberland, 666 in Franklin, 719 in Hancock, 2,854 in Kennebec, 543 in Knox, 437 in Lincoln, 1,755 in Oxford, 3,146 in Penobscot, 181 in Piscataquis, 695 in Sagadahoc, 1,034 in Somerset, 464 in Waldo, 556 in Washington, and 7,892 in York.

Also on Saturday, 14.3 percent of patients were under 20, while 18 percent were in their 20s, 14.5 percent were in their 30s, 13.1 percent were in their 40s, 15.5 percent were in their 50s, 11.9 percent were in their 60s, 6.8 percent were in their 70s, and 5.9 percent were 80 or older.

Of the 189 patients with COVID-19 in Maine hospitals on Sunday, 55 were in intensive care and 20 were on ventilators. The state had 95 intensive care unit beds available of a total 394, and 224 ventilators available of 320. There were also 443 alternative ventilators.

Around the world on Sunday night, there were 99 million known cases of COVID-19 and 2.1 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States had 25 million cases and 418,673 deaths.

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