The number of COVID-19 patients being treated in Maine hospitals rose slightly on Monday but remains well below the peak of two weeks ago.

There were 165 people hospitalized with the virus on Monday, including 53 in critical care and 30 on ventilators. That’s up from the 150 people hospitalized Sunday, including 48 in critical care.

Hospitalizations, which typically lag case trends, had receded rapidly over the last two weeks from a record 235 on Sept. 25. The drop coincided with a slowing of new infections and a drop in the percentage of tests that came back positive, all signs the delta variant surge was beginning to subside in Maine as it has around the country.

But the numbers of hospitalizations and cases remain high and it’s not clear whether the recent downward trend will continue. The last time the number of people hospitalized with COVID in Maine was below 100 was on Aug. 21.

The numbers come as Maine also has continued to see elevated case counts. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t report case numbers on Sundays and Mondays but reported 600 new cases and five new deaths on Saturday. There have been 94,941 total cases of COVID during the pandemic and 1,075 deaths.

As of Sunday, 66 percent of Mainers were fully vaccinated, including 74.9 percent of those 12 and older who are eligible.

Nationally, COVID-19 case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths are declining following a late summer surge. The U.S. reported 23,025 new cases Monday for a seven-day daily average of 96,549. That’s down from a seven-day average of 119,886 two weeks ago, according to the New York Times.

Maine’s infection rate remains above the national average and among the highest in Northeast. The state has been reporting an average of 37 new cases per 100,000 residents, compared to a national rate of 29 cases, according to a tracker published by the Brown School of Public Health.


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