Franklin County COVID spread rate reaches fourth highest in nation

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FARMINGTON – Franklin County was identified as having one of the most severe COVID-19 spread rates in the nation this week with an average of 44 new cases per day according to data compiled from state and local health agencies across the country. A total of 3,406 cases have been reported since the beginning of the pandemic, roughly one in nine residents.

As a result of those numbers, Franklin Memorial Hospital is at max capacity, with between seven and 11 covid patients hospitalized each day.

“We’re in a tough spot. It’s remarkable how many, and how sick, people are,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ross Isacke said on Friday. “At any given time in the Emergency Room, more than half of the people are either confirmed positive or suspected positive.”

Locals who may be feeling ill are encouraged to contact their Primary Care Provider before making a trip to the ER, and anyone utilizing the health services at the ER should expect longer than normal wait times.

Isacke explained that an area that is regaining control of an outbreak shows positivity rates of under 3 percent. In comparison, Franklin County’s positivity rates are currently between 20 and 25 percent.

Franklin County is also reporting lower than average vaccination rates, with the current percentage at a little more than half. The statewide average is roughly 74 percent according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There are just over 13,000 active cases statewide, with roughly 1,150 new cases today. According to the Bangor Daily News COVID-19 Tracker, 25 people died today from COVID-19, adding to the total of 1,430. Since vaccine distribution began, 82 percent of new positive cases were with unvaccinated individuals.

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