The number of people hospitalized in Maine with COVID-19 is continuing to hold steady this week as the pace of new infections has slowed.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported a total of 209 COVID patients in Maine hospitals on Wednesday morning. After doubling over the previous three weeks, the patient count has fluctuated between 207 and 209 since Monday.

The Maine CDC also reported 748 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday and three additional deaths.

The state’s infection rate remains among the highest in the nation although the pace of new cases has slowed this week.

The seven-day average of new cases in Maine is now 651. That’s nearly double the average two weeks ago, but down from last week’s high of 809.

It’s too soon to know whether the latest wave of cases has peaked in Maine or just paused. However, other Northeast states have not seen any sustained decrease in case numbers, suggesting that new, more contagious omicron subvariants are still spreading at high rates. And wastewater testing around the state also indicates the virus is still prevalent and not receding.


Official case counts indicate whether transmission is speeding up or slowing down, but they undercount actual infections because so many people now rely on at-home tests that are not included in officials counts.

The sharp rise in reported cases in the past three weeks and the designation change in eight Maine counties to high transmission levels prompted the Bangor and Portland school districts to reinstate indoor mask mandates. Bangor’s requirement began Monday, while Portland’s takes effect Thursday.

The Maine counties designated as high transmission are Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox, Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis and Aroostook.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends mask wearing while indoors in counties with high levels of transmission. The designations are based on infection rates, hospitalizations and hospital capacity.

Since the pandemic began, Maine has recorded 252,653 cases and 2,330 deaths.

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