Maine health officials reported 1,244 new cases of COVID-19 and three deaths Friday, as Mainers scrambled with last-minute preparations for the Christmas holiday.

With Friday’s numbers, Maine has reported 141,780 cases since the pandemic began, and 1,475 have died. New data on case numbers, deaths and hospitalizations was not available Saturday.

Across Maine, 339 people were hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday, down from the 355 people hospitalized Thursday, according to data from the Maine CDC. Of those hospitalized Friday, 112 were in critical care and 61 required the use of a ventilator. Of the 375 critical care beds in Maine, 59 were available Friday morning, along with nearly 200 ventilators.

Meanwhile, Maine’s medical community prepared for the influx of federal ambulance teams, who are expected to arrive in Maine early this week to help hospitals with an anticipated post-holiday surge in cases and patients needing transportation. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending 16 emergency medical technicians and paramedics to eight hospitals across the state, and they will help transport patients from hospitals to other facilities.

Friday’s busy travel day became complicated for many late Thursday and early Friday when airlines announced the cancellations of more than 3,000 flights globally because of a spike in the omicron variant, which has affected staffing. As of 10:30 a.m. Friday, arrivals and departures appeared to be on schedule at the Portland International Jetport, according to flight information posted on the jetport website.

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