Covid hospitalizations return to peak levels in Southern Maine

The number of Covid-19 inpatients at Portland’s major hospitals returned to the peak levels of early April last week, data collected directly from Maine’s hospitals show. York County’s largest hospital also saw increases.

The story — the latest in my exclusive weekly Press Herald round-ups of the hospitalization situation in Maine — follows weeks of steadily increasing Covid case counts in Cumberland and Androscoggin counties, suggesting the disease is having a resurgence as social distancing requirements are loosened. The upward case trends in these counties began before the Maine CDC increased testing and the hospitalization trends, of course, are not a product of how many tests were performed (which is why they are valuable to have.) York counties trends are also not encouraging, but Maine’s other 13 counties looked relatively good, including Penobscot County (Bangor).

The story also includes an update on the promises the Maine CDC made last week in regards to releasing better data on the pandemic; short answer is they’re still working on it.

The spike in hospitalizations in Portland — now in its second week running — followed more than a month of declining of flat cases in much of April and the beginning of May, when Gov. Janet Mills began the phased reopening of parts of Maine’s (heavily damaged) economy.