The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Maine climbed to a new record on Sunday.

There were 249 people in Maine hospitals on Sunday, including 76 in critical care and 35 on ventilators, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Maine previously reached a record high number of people hospitalized on Friday with 248. Of those, 72 patients were in critical care and 31 were on ventilators.

On Saturday, the number of people in hospitals with COVID-19 dipped slightly to 240, including 69 in critical care and 36 on ventilators. Prior to September, hospitalizations in the state had not been above 200 since January. Before Friday the high number for hospitalizations was 235, set on Sept. 25.

Hospitalizations have trended downward nationally as Maine’s numbers have risen. Several hospitals around the state hit record levels of COVID-19 inpatients in the past week or so, including Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, MaineGeneral in Augusta and Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital in Ellsworth.

The majority of COVID patients in Maine hospitals are unvaccinated, health officials said.

Maine also continues to see high daily case rates. The Maine CDC does not release new infection numbers on Sundays, but on Saturday Maine health officials reported 799 new cases of COVID-19 over a two-day period and 10 more deaths.

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The seven-day daily case average in Maine has gradually increased in recent weeks to more than 500 new cases. Maine’s infection rate has been above the national average for weeks as the virus spreads mostly in parts of the state with low vaccination rates.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 111,145 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in Maine and 1,230 infected people have died, according to data from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Maine’s vaccination pace has picked up in recent weeks, with young children now eligible. According to CDC numbers posted Saturday, the state has given 951,585 final doses of vaccine, representing 74.3 percent of all residents. Children age 5 to 11 have received 10,333 first doses and 71 final doses since the Pfizer vaccines were made available to them last week. That’s more than triple the number of vaccines administered as of Wednesday, when 3,189 first doses had been given.

In addition to final doses, Maine has administered 164,617 booster doses.

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