The number of patients in Maine hospitals with COVID-19 continues to hold steady despite a rise in new cases fueled by the omicron BA.2 subvariant.

The state reported 93 hospitalizations Monday, up slightly from 91 on Sunday. Of those patients, 16 are in critical care and three are on ventilators.

Most of those hospitalized with the virus were not fully vaccinated, according to health officials.

The state does not report new cases on Mondays because it does not process cases on weekends. Since the pandemic began, Maine has recorded 240,086 cases and 2,276 deaths. However, case numbers likely represent a significant undercount since many people with COVID-19 have taken at-home tests whose results were not reported to the state.

The BA.2 subvariant is driving up case counts across the Northeast. Maine has seen a significant rise in the daily number of new case reports, with the seven-day average climbing 50 percent from about 200 new cases each day to about 300.

Five Maine counties – Aroostook, Piscataquis, Penobscot, Washington and Hancock – are now in the yellow, or moderate risk, category, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is a change from last week, and a sign that BA.2 is spreading. Last week, only one Maine county, Aroostook, was in the yellow category.

Cumberland and the 10 other counties remain in the green, or low risk, category. However, that designation does not mean that the virus is not circulating in those counties. The green label indicates infections in those counties are not expected to put a strain on hospitals or lead to an overwhelming number of sick patients with COVID-19.

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