The number of daily coronavirus infections has quadrupled in Maine over the last four weeks, and the total count since the start of the pandemic has eclipsed 70,000 cases.
The state's top public health official, Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah, told the Bangor City Council that a return to indoor mask use is likely coming even for fully vaccinated residents, the Bangor Daily News reported.
"We probably need to be prepared, even for fully vaccinated folks, for the time being, to go back to wearing masks in indoor settings," the Daily News reported that Shah told councilors during a Monday meeting.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that there have now been more than 70,000 reported cases of the virus in the state, and the number of deaths since the start of the pandemic was 898.
Shah tweeted on Tuesday that people in public, indoor spaces should "consider masking up," especially in a higher transmission counties, such as York and Piscataquis. He also tweet that everyone in schools should mask up, regardless of vaccination status, and he urged unvaccinated people to get vaccinated.
The agency did not return a call from The Associated Press regarding a possible return to indoor mask orders. The state rescinded masking orders weeks ago.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from about 14 new cases a day on July 11 to about 61 new cases a day on Sunday. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Maine has also risen over the past two weeks from less than one death a day on July 11 to about two deaths a day Sunday.
The AP is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the United States.
Maine authorities said about 68% of the state's eligible population is fully vaccinated against coronavirus. That's one of the highest rates in the country. However, counts have been increasing in Maine and around the country in recent weeks.