The number of Mainers hospitalized with COVID-19 continued to decline on Saturday, while the number of deaths rose.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention added 26 coronavirus deaths to the state’s official count, bringing the death toll from the pandemic to 2,135 people.

The Maine CDC reported that 154 people were in Maine hospitals with the virus on Saturday, down from 163 the day before. Those numbers are drastically lower than the pandemic high of 436 people recorded on Jan. 13 during the omicron surge.

Of the 154 patients reported hospitalized Saturday, 33 were in critical care and 12 people were on ventilators.

On Thursday, all 16 Maine counties were classified as being only at medium risk for transmission of the coronavirus for the first time in months, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That change means that masking indoors is no longer universally recommended. However, health officials still recommend people who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe illness continue to wear a mask in indoor public spaces.



Nationwide, more than 90 percent of the population is at low or medium risk of  COVID-19 spread, according to U.S. CDC Director Rochelle Wolensky.

The 26 deaths added Saturday in Maine were not likely one day’s list of additional deaths, but rather the result of a review of records that identified people diagnosed with the virus who have died in recent weeks.

The Maine CDC added 447 COVID-19 cases to the official count on Saturday. Those cases do not represent new infections, however, because the state is still processing tests submitted weeks ago during the height of the omicron surge.

Maine has had a total of 230,720 cases since the pandemic began two years ago.

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