Maine CDC Expects COVID-19 Spike After Christmas Holiday

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Centers for Disease Control, is warning of an expected increase in coronavirus cases after Christmas

The director of the Maine Center for Disease Control warned Monday of another spike in COVID-19 cases in coming days because of people traveling and gathering around the Christmas holiday — and a corresponding increase in testing.

"All of those factors point in the same direction. The bottom line (is) that there's a high likelihood of an increase in increasing numbers of cases across the state of Maine in the coming weeks," Dr. Nirav Shah said.

The state saw a similar spike in COVID-19 after Thanksgiving, so hospitals are prepared for more patients, Shah said.

The Maine CDC reported nearly 440 new confirmed coronavirus cases and three more deaths on Monday.

All told, more than 17,000 Mainers — predominantly health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic — have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, representing about 1.3% of the state's population.

But the state's allocation has been smaller than expected, and the latest shipment is expected to be more than 300 doses short, he said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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