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COVID-19 hospitalizations in Maine surpass 100 for the first time

Coronavirus hospitalizations in Maine have surpassed 100 for the first time, according to state health data.

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As of Monday, at least 103 people in the state were hospitalized due to COVID-19, an increase of eight from the day before. Nearly a month ago, just 13 people in Maine were hospitalized because of the virus.

The state also reported 185 virus cases on Monday. To date, Maine has recorded more than 10,500 COVID-19 cases.

Although Maine has been one of only a few states to keep coronavirus cases relatively low since the start of the pandemic, the recent increase in both cases and hospitalizations has concerned public health officials there, especially ahead of Thanksgiving and the holiday season.

“As we go into this holiday week, please recognize that the choices you and your family make this week can affect the trajectory of our state for many weeks to come,” Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Nirav Shah said during a press briefing, according to the Portland Press Herald.

The news comes as a third of parents who responded to a recent survey said they plan to see their families in person this year despite the risk of COVID-19.

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One in three parents in a new survey conducted by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health said that the risk of getting or spreading the novel coronavirus is worth gathering for Thanksgiving this year.

“In thinking about their Thanksgiving plans, parents appear to be balancing risks and benefits of having a traditional celebration. The major concern is the pandemic, as three-quarters of parents felt it is very important to prevent the spread of COVID-19; this is likely a priority because 9 in 10 parents reported that their Thanksgiving gatherings typically include grandparents or other older adults,” the survey found. “Yet over half of parents indicated it was very important for their child to be with extended family and share in Thanksgiving traditions.”

The survey was conducted before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week warned against traveling to visit relatives and friends this Thanksgiving and holiday season and urged those with possible coronavirus symptoms or other illnesses to stay home.

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