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, Sept. 4.

And despite the increasing number of cases and increased hospitalizations statewide, some public officials are opposed to mask mandates that have been shown to reduce the transmission of the virus.

Since the pandemic began, 1,346 Knox County residents were diagnosed with the virus, 37 were admitted to hospitals and seven died. Knox County has not seen any additional hospitalizations in nearly three weeks, despite the steep increase in cases.

Statewide, an additional 491 cases were reported over the past day. There were no additional deaths reported statewide Sept. 4, keeping the number at 940.

Seven additional people statewide were hospitalized over the past day with COVID-19, increasing that number to 2,333 since the pandemic began in Maine in mid-March 2020. The overwhelming percentage of new hospitalizations from the virus are people who are not vaccinated.

Currently, 163 Mainers are hospitalized with the virus, 62 in critical care units and 26 are on respirators. Those numbers continue to increase.

The CDC reports Saturday an additional 36 Knox County residents have been fully vaccinated over the past day, reaching 27,454, which is nearly 78% of the eligible population.

Somerset County is only at 57% vaccinated while Cumberland County is at 84%.

Health officials continue to urge people wear masks in indoor public places and to get vaccinated.