Knox County saw 46 additional cases during the past day, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday, March 3.

The Maine CDC has said deaths and hospitalizations were a better metric to use than case numbers. There were no additional hospitalizations or deaths of Knox County residents in the past day.

Since the pandemic began in Maine in March 2020, 5,712 Knox County residents have been diagnosed with the virus, 77 have been admitted to hospitals, and 29 have died.

Statewide, an additional 1,034 cases were reported during the past day. There were no additional deaths reported statewide March 3, keeping that number at 2,078.

There were eight additional people statewide admitted to hospitals in Maine with COVID-19 during the past day, increasing that number at 4,369 since the pandemic began in March 2020.

The CDC reports 162 Mainers currently in the hospital, down from a record high of 436 in early January but a slight uptick from the previous day. Of the 162 hospitalized, 42 are in critical care units and 11 on ventilators. Fifty-four critical care beds are available in Maine. The number of people in critical care and on ventilators are the lowest since mid-August.

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

Eighty-two percent of the eligible population in Knox County has been fully vaccinated. Statewide, 77 percent of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated, ranging from a low of 63 percent in Somerset County to 88 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 administration of Maine Gov. Janet Mills will update its mask recommendations for schools on Wednesday, although changes will not take effect immediately, a state spokeswoman told the Portland Press Herald on Tuesday.