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CDC Director says Maine has come a long way since March 2020, not ‘discouraged’

Numbers show the coronavirus continues the hold on Maine we’ve seen in recent weeks.
Numbers show the coronavirus continues the hold on Maine we’ve seen in recent weeks.(WABI)
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 4:03 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Numbers show the coronavirus continues the hold on Maine we’ve seen in recent weeks.

Fighting to stay safe for this long and seeing the current state of the state could be discouraging to some.

TV5 spoke with the head of the Maine CDC about what’s going on right now.

“Our seven day PCR positivity rate is now 18.05%,” said Dr. Nirav Shah. “This is by far the highest it has ever been in Maine throughout the pandemic.”

Shah reporting this week that high mirrors other New England states. We asked Shah if his resolve has waned amid these sustained numbers. He says no, and neither should yours.

“Hospitalizations are close to the highest they’ve been, although not the highest, and we’re staring down a variant that is going to be spreading a lot more. So, I get why it would be easy to go toward that degree of resignation, but I don’t think it’s accurate.”

He says that’s because of the vaccines and the more than 75-percent of Maine people that have gotten them.

“Right now, across the state, 70% of people who are in the hospital in Maine with COVID-19 are not fully vaccinated, 70%,” he explained.

“I mean, if anything, the undiscussed story of the pandemic is just how good the vaccines work at what they were designed to do. Keep people alive, keep them out of the hospital, keep them off the ventilator.”

And helping to get the parts of life back that were taken away at the outset.

“We’ve figured out safer ways to do things that are a primary societal importance, like keeping kids in school,” he said. “So, am I discouraged? No. Are things the way that any of us would have wished them to be? No, of course not. But, we’re not in a position where we were back in March of 2020.”

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