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COVID cases rise, prompting new mask mandate in Bangor schools

N95 masks are recommended to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 variants.
Jennifer Swanson/NPR
Masks are required in Bangor schools Monday, May 9, as COVID cases rise in Penobscot County.

The Maine Center for Disease Control reported the number of Mainers hospitalized with COVID Saturday is 205.

Thirty-six patients are in critical care and four are on ventilators. State health officials also reported 963 news cases across the state and 9 additional deaths Saturday. CDC spokesman Robert Long says 29 of the 34 COVID deaths reported this week resulted from a review of vital records.

High case counts in Penobscot County have prompted Bangor school officials to require masks in school again starting Monday, May 9. Superintendent James Tager said schools will return to optional masking if county case loads decline to low or medium transmission levels. Penobscot County had 616 new cases over the past week.

Based on hospital data, the U.S. Center for Disease Control now considers most of Maine's coastal counties as well as Piscataquis, Penobscot and Aroostook counties to be at high risk for disease transmission. The agency advises people to wear masks in indoor public spaces in those counties.

Carol Bousquet