The number of influenza cases locally continue to rise significantly.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 72 confirmed influenza cases in Knox County for the week ending Dec. 24. Eight Knox County residents were admitted to a hospital with the flu during the past week.

This is up from 61 confirmed cases and six hospitalizations a week earlier, 29 cases the week before that, 22 the week before that, and three cases for the week ending Nov. 26.

Statewide, there were 2,881 confirmed cases with 87 hospitalizations during the past week. Five people died statewide during the past week from influenza, including one pediatric case.

Knox County saw 11 additional COVID-19 cases since Friday, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday, Dec. 28.

The most recent testing at Rockland’s wastewater treatment plant showed virus levels continue to be low through Dec. 13.

Since the pandemic began in Maine in March 2020, 7,814 Knox County residents have been diagnosed with the virus (This does not include results from at-home tests), 125 have been admitted to hospitals, and 49 have died. There have been no additional hospitalizations or deaths related to COVID-19 in Knox County since Friday.

Statewide, an additional 538 cases were reported since Friday with five additional deaths reported statewide Dec. 28, increasing the number to 2,784.

The CDC reported that an additional 26 people statewide were admitted to a hospital since Friday with the virus, bringing the total to 6,517 since the pandemic started.

The CDC reports 131 Mainers currently in the hospital with the virus, an increase of 20 since last week. The peak was 436 in early January. Of the 131 hospitalized, 22 are in critical care units and four on a ventilator. Forty-nine critical care beds are available in Maine.