The number of new influenza cases locally are slowing after several weeks of sharp increases.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 56 new confirmed influenza cases in Knox County for the week ending Dec. 31. Two Knox County residents were admitted to a hospital with the flu during the past week.

This is down from the peak of 72 a week earlier and 61 two weeks ago. In the prior week there had been 29 cases of the flu, 22 the week before that, and three cases for the week ending Nov. 26.

Statewide, there were 1,879 confirmed cases with 95 hospitalizations during the past week. Three people died statewide during the past week from influenza.

The number of COVID-19 cases, however, have increased.

Knox County saw 36 additional COVID-19 cases since Dec. 28, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday, Jan. 4. There was also one additional hospitalization of a Knox County resident since last week with the virus.

There has been no update on the extent of the virus in Rockland’s wastewater since Dec. 13.

Since the pandemic began in Maine in March 2020, 7,850 Knox County residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (This does not include results from at-home tests), 126 have been admitted to hospitals and 49 have died.

Statewide, an additional 1,191 cases were reported during the past week with seven additional deaths reported statewide Jan. 4, increasing the number to 2,791.

The CDC reported that an additional 36 people statewide were admitted to a hospital since last week with the virus, bringing the total to 6,553 since the pandemic started.

The CDC reports 147 Mainers currently in the hospital with the virus, an increase of nearly 20 since last week. The peak was 436 in early January. Of the 147 hospitalized, 24 are in critical care units and five on a ventilator. Forty-two critical care beds are available in Maine.