The state reported a slight increase of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 on Saturday.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 338 people hospitalized for COVID-19 throughout the state, up from 334 hospitalized on Friday.

Saturday’s numbers include 115 people in intensive care units and 57 on ventilators.

The state did not report new case numbers on Saturday. Since the pandemic began, there have been 146,736 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, and 1,531 people in Maine have died with the virus, according to the Maine CDC.

While the number of patients is down from a peak of 387 on Dec. 21, it is still high enough to strain hospital staff and resources. Hospitals are bracing for a possible increase in illnesses from the fast-spreading omicron variant, which is driving up patient counts across the nation.

Omicron is estimated to account for 58 percent of cases in the United States, according to the U.S. CDC.

Early studies and real-world data from countries that have experienced an omicron surge before the U.S. are indicating that omicron may cause less-severe disease when compared with delta and previous variants. Maine is not yet seeing a spike in the omicron variant, but cases of omicron are growing, according to sequencing being done at Jackson Laboratories.

Staff Writer Joe Lawlor contributed to this report.

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