There were 37 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Knox County during the past day, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday, Jan. 28.

Since the pandemic began in Maine in March 2020, 4,119 Knox County residents have been diagnosed with the virus, 70 have been admitted to hospitals, and 22 have died.

Statewide, an additional 1,428 cases were reported since during the past day. There were five additional deaths reported statewide Jan. 28, increasing the number to 1,733.

There were 18 additional people statewide admitted to hospitals in Maine with COVID-19 during the past day, increasing that number to 3,878 since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Hospitalizations of Maine residents with the virus are beginning to drop. The CDC reported 400 Mainers currently in the hospital, down from a record high of 436 three weeks ago. Of the 400, 84 are in critical care units and 38 on respirators. Sixty-one critical care beds are available in Maine.

Seventy percent of hospitalized patients are people who have not been vaccinated, and 90 percent of people in critical care units are unvaccinated.

Eighty-one percent of the eligible population in Knox County has been fully vaccinated. Statewide, 76 percent of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated, ranging from a low of 62 percent in Somerset County to 87 percent in Cumberland County.

Medical leaders across the state continue to say the spread is being fueled by people who have not been vaccinated.

Health officials continue to urge people to wear masks in indoor public places and to get vaccinated, including booster shots. Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said surgical masks, N95s and KN95s are more suitable for protection against the more transmissible Omicron variant of the virus than plain cloth masks.

The Maine Department of Education updated its statistics on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the schools during the past 30 days. The Jan. 27 update shows Oceanside High School in Rockland with the most cases locally at 53. Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro had 49 cases in the past 30 days, while The Miller School in Waldoboro had 40 cases; Medomak Middle School in Waldoboro, 10; Warren Community School, 36; the St. George School, 24; Oceanside Middle School in Thomaston, 22; Ash Point Community School in Owls Head, 16; the South School in Rockland, 15; Camden Hills Regional High School 21; Islesboro Central School, 18; and Lincolnville Central School, six. Each of the remaining area schools have had five or fewer cases over the past 30 days.

Portland High School has had the most in the state with 142 cases in the past 30 days.