Maine CDC director says to focus on COVID hospitalization numbers

Published: Jan. 8, 2022 at 4:54 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Every day the Maine CDC releases loads of data and numbers to the public that help them track the severity of COVID-19 in our state.

It is no surprise that some of these numbers are more important than others.

This week Dr. Nirav Shah of the Maine CDC offered a little guidance to the public about what numbers they should put more focus on.

He says things like daily case numbers and positivity rates are valuable, but not as much compared to hospitalization rates.

Especially the numbers of people in intensive care units and on ventilators.

Dr. Shah says that Maine and everywhere else has a very high transmission rate, but what they want to focus on is how many of these cases are sending people to need more medical attention.

”What can we look to that tells us day to day, what has actually changed. As we learn more and more about COVID, it becomes increasingly the case that hospitalizations, albeit not perfect at all, are a better metric of the day to day changes of the pandemic than things like cases, case counts, and arguably even positivity rates,” said Shah.

Dr. Shah also adds that this emphasis on hospital data is also how they determine the severity of other respiratory diseases, like Influenza.

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