Maine recorded 428 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death on Saturday, public health authorities reported.

Since the pandemic began, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has logged 2,336 deaths and 254,855 cases. The total case count is lower than the actual number because many positive home test results are not reported.

The seven-day average on Friday was 671 new cases per day, a 50 percent increase from the daily average two weeks ago. Maine has among the highest infection rates in the country.

The spread of infections is blamed on the current omicron subvariants, but the number of new cases is not as high as during January’s omicron surge. Most of the current infections are causing less serious illness, experts have said.

On Saturday the Maine CDC also reported that 213 people were hospitalized with the virus statewide. Of those, 35 were in critical care and two were on ventilators.

The overall number of hospitalized patients has increased 56 percent in the past two weeks, but the numbers in critical care have remained largely stable.

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, tweeted on Friday that most of those who are hospitalized with the virus are older, vaccinated persons and younger, unvaccinated persons.

In prior waves of infections, Shah said the number of patients in critical care units grew in tandem with overall numbers, but Maine has not seen the same parallel growth in the most severely ill patients, he added.

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