There were eight additional cases of COVID-19 in Knox County over the past day, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported Saturday, Aug. 28.

Since the pandemic began, 1,316 Knox County residents have been diagnosed with the virus, 37 were admitted to hospitals and seven died. Knox County has not seen any additional hospitalizations in the past 12 days despite an increase in cases.

Statewide, an additional 415 cases were reported over the past day, the highest single-day increase since spring. There were two additional deaths reported statewide Aug. 28, increasing the number to 930. There was one death each in Androscoggin and Aroostook counties.

Nine additional people statewide were hospitalized over the past day with COVID-19, increasing that number to 2,290 since the pandemic began in Maine in mid-March 2020. The overwhelming percentage of new hospitalizations from the virus are people who have not been vaccinated.

Currently, 133 Mainers are hospitalized with the virus, 59 in critical care units and 27 are on respirators. This is also the most hospitalizations since spring. Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said Wednesday that there are only 37 ICU beds available in Maine as hospitals cope with the virus and other illnesses and injuries.

The CDC reports an additional 32 Knox County residents have been fully vaccinated over the past day, reaching 27,240 which is slightly more than 77% of the eligible population.

Many schools are mandating masks for when classes begin in two weeks although Regional School Unit 40 is making optional unless there is widespread cases in either Knox or Lincoln counties.

Vaccinations and masks have been proved to be the best defenses against the spread of the virus.