There were seven additional cases of COVID-19 in Knox County since Saturday, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday, Sept. 8.

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, 1,383 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 more than four weeks, despite the steep increase in cases.

Statewide, an additional 732 cases were reported since Saturday. There were six additional deaths reported statewide Sept. 8, increasing the number to 946. There was one death each in Waldo, Lincoln, Hancock, Penobscot, Somerset, and Aroostook counties.

Nine additional people statewide were hospitalized over the past weekend with COVID-19, increasing that number to 2,342 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, 183 Mainers are hospitalized with the virus, 68 in critical care units and 29 are on respirators. Those numbers continue to increase and are near the high since the pandemic began 18 months ago.

The CDC reports Tuesday an additional 74 Knox County residents have been fully vaccinated over the past weekend, reaching 27,528 which is 78% of the eligible population.

Somerset County is only at 58% vaccinated while Cumberland County is at 85%.

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