For the first time since last summer, fewer than 100 people were hospitalized statewide with COVID-19 on Saturday, the state reported.

There were 94 people in Maine hospitals with the coronavirus virus, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That was a decline from 107 patients on Friday and 111 on Thursday.

Of those hospitalized on Saturday, 19 were in intensive care and seven on ventilators.

The last time there were fewer than 100 people hospitalized with the virus in Maine was on Aug. 21, when there were 88.

Since then, hospitalization numbers have remained in the triple digits. The peak came on Jan. 13, when there were 436 people in Maine hospitals with COVID-19.

On Saturday the state also reported that three more people with COVID-19 have died. Since the pandemic began, 2,182 Mainers have died with the virus.


The Maine CDC added 159 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the state’s total to 233,696 since the pandemic began. Those case numbers do not include those who have taken home tests with positive results.

Overall, there has been a declining number of cases in the United States and Maine in recent weeks.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its “community levels” data on Thursday, showing a low risk of transmission of the virus in 85 percent of the nation. Also,  most of Maine – 11 of the 16 counties including Cumberland, York and Androscoggin – are color coded green, meaning they have a low risk of transmission. The U.S. CDC calculates its community level risk factors by combining case counts with hospital capacity and new hospital admissions.

Maine counties coded red, meaning there is a high risk of transmission, are Aroostook and Washington. The other three counties – Piscataquis, Penobscot and Hancock – are coded yellow, with a moderate risk of transmission. Regions color coded as yellow and green are no longer recommended to require mask wearing in public, indoor spaces except for those at high risk of severe illness. The CDC advises that everyone wear masks in indoor, public spaces in areas coded red.

Meanwhile, there are rising COVID-19 case counts in Europe and China. Cities in China are grappling with coronavirus infections that have resulted in new lockdowns, including in Hong Kong, where many of the recently deceased from the virus were elderly patients, a majority whom were not fully vaccinated, according to  The Associated Press.

On Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Biden, told PBS the United States generally follows the virus trend in Europe by about three weeks.

When looking at what’s happening in the United Kingdom, “when you combine the increased transmissibility of the BA.2, which is a sublineage variant of the original omicron,” together with the relaxation of mask wearing and the waning of the vaccines’ immunity, other countries are seeing an increase in hospitalizations, Fauci said.

That could mean there’ll be uptick of cases in the United States, but the degree of vaccination immunity and prior infections might protect some people from becoming seriously ill from infections, Fauci said.

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