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Health

Maine CDC Adds 16 COVID-19 Deaths, 823 Cases Friday

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Robert F. Bukaty
/
Associated Press
Pedestrians wear face coverings to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, in Portland, Maine.

Just days after state health officials requisitioned and redeployed almost 2,000 doses of vaccine from the Walgreens pharmacy chain, Maine CDC director Nirav Shah said he doing the same thing with another 975.

“From Walgreens again, moving it to an independent Maine pharmacy based in Bangor, because that pharmacy is ready to go into nursing homes and long-term care facilities to start vaccinating folks. We’re going to continue doing that. We’re not messing around with this,” he said. “We’ve got doses waiting to be administered and people waiting to receive them. If we see a mismatch there, we are going to continue moving things around in that fashion.”

Shah said the department had performance concerns over both CVS and Walgreens, but had seen some improvement in CVS. He said he was disappointed that with so many people waiting for vaccine, Walgreens did not have immediate plans to deploy the doses.

According to the state’s vaccine website, more than 70,000 doses of vaccine have now been administered.

Hospitalizations in the state from COVID-19 have spiked significantly over the last month, as the pandemic continues to surge.

“Since our very first case, 1 in 5 of every person who has been hospitalized, has been hospitalized in the past month. Just in the past 30 days we’ve logged 20% of all of our hospitalizations,” Shah said..

Shah said currently, 193 people are in the hospital with COVID-19. Sixty-one are in critical care, with 24 people on ventilators.

Shah also noted that 16 more deaths have been recorded, and that Friday marked the third day in a row where new daily cases topped 800.