The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday, Sept. 9 that two more Knox County residents died from COVID-19.

There were 15 additional cases reported Thursday in Knox County, the CDC reported Thursday. An additional hospitalization was also reported.

This was the first time since the pandemic began 18 months ago that two deaths were reported in the same day in Knox County.

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

Since the pandemic began, 1,398 Knox County residents were diagnosed with the virus, 38 were admitted to hospitals and nine died.

Statewide, an additional 620 cases were reported in the past day. There were five additional deaths reported statewide Sept. 9, increasing the number to 946. In addition to the two deaths in Knox County, there were two in Penobscot County and one in York County.

But the number of new cases represented only the positive tests state staff could verify and process, not the number of Maine people who actually tested positive. The state CDC is working through the backlog of tests.

Seven additional people statewide were hospitalized over the past day with COVID-19, increasing that number to 2,349 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, 187 Mainers are hospitalized with the virus, 67 in critical care units and 32 are on respirators. Those numbers continue to increase and are near the high since the pandemic began 18 months ago.

The CDC reports Sept. 9 an additional 37 Knox County residents were fully vaccinated over the past day, reaching 27,565 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.