janet mills

Maine Tops 1,000 Deaths as Delta Variant Fills Hospitals, Affects Kids

"We are seeing more pediatric hospitalizations from COVID than we were last year at this time or back in the spring," said a doctor from Barbara Bush Children's Hospital

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More than 1,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Maine, which Gov. Janet Mills called a “grim, unwelcome milestone,” as the state reported record hospitalization numbers.

Maine topped 1,000 COVID-19 deaths as the delta variant continues to fill the state's hospital beds, and Gov. Janet Mills used the "grim and unwelcome milestone" to press Tuesday for residents to get vaccinated.

An additional 18 deaths recorded in the state since Saturday pushed the total to 1,002 since the pandemic began nearly 19 months ago, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday.

Behind the numbers are "parents, grandparents, siblings, children, loved ones and friends, all valued members of our Maine community," Mills said.

"We mourn their passing and grieve for the moments they are no longer able to share with us," she said, urging people to "please get vaccinated today" to protect loved ones and give health care workers a break.

According to the Maine CDC, 214 people are currently hospitalized, including 73 who are in critical care, which is the highest total since the pandemic began. There are currently 58 available critical care beds.

Maine hospitals are warning travelers of rising COVID cases and a shortage of ICU beds ahead of Labor Day weekend.

"We are seeing more pediatric hospitalizations from COVID than we were last year at this time or back in the spring," she said.

The spike in hospitalizations is also impacting children in the state, said Dr. Mary Ottolini, chair of Pediatrics at the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Ottolini said that children remain "a very small proportion of the overall hospitalization rate." But she is concerned, because, "with children going back to school, we're seeing increased numbers of positive COVID tests among children."

"If adults want to protect children, they need to get vaccinated," she added, when asked by in an interview about what people could do to protect young children who are still unable to get a vaccine for COVID-19.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases has risen over the past two weeks from 384 on Sept. 5 to 485 on Sept. 19. 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.

There have also been more than 84,000 infections in the state since the start of the pandemic, Maine CDC said Tuesday.

About three-quarters of Maine's eligible population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

“We mourn their passing and grieve for the moments they are no longer able to share with us,” she said, urging people to ”please get vaccinated today” to protect loved ones and give health care workers a break.

According to the Maine CDC, 214 people are currently hospitalized, including 73 who are in critical care, which is the highest total since the pandemic began. There are currently 58 available critical care beds.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases has risen over the past two weeks from 384 on Sept. 5 to 485 on Sept. 19. 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.

There have also been more than 84,000 infections in the state since the start of the pandemic, Maine CDC said Tuesday.

About three-quarters of Maine’s eligible population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The Associated Press/NBC