The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine dropped on Friday as other signs point to a continued decline in new infections.

There were 183 hospitalized patients statewide as of Friday morning, down from 193 on Thursday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of patients hit a three-month high of 231 on May 17 and dropped to 163 on Sunday before an uptick this week. Of those hospitalized Friday morning, 22 were in critical care and five were on ventilators.

The state also reported Friday that there have been 15 additional COVID-related deaths in Maine. The Maine CDC periodically reviews records to identify deaths that were not counted in recent weeks or months.

COVID-19 community levels have gone down in several counties since last week, according to data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday. The state also has seen a decrease in daily case counts, positive tests and wastewater testing.

The state reported 337 new COVID cases Friday, down from an average daily count of 803 in April. While the daily case counts do not include infections confirmed through at-home tests, they can still indicate if virus transmission is speeding up or slowing down.

York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox, Kennebec, Waldo and Somerset are now classified as having low community levels, the U.S. CDC reported. A low rating for a county means there is no official masking recommendation but does not mean the virus is no longer circulating. It only means that the case and hospitalization numbers do not present a threat of straining the health care system.


Sagadahoc County has been classified as low community risk for two consecutive weeks. Cumberland and York counties moved from medium risk to low risk this week.

COVID community levels in Androscoggin, Washington, Hancock and Penobscot were classified as medium, meaning those who are at high risk for severe illness are urged to wear a mask indoors in public.

In the high community-level counties of Piscataquis, Aroostook, Oxford and Franklin, the U.S. CDC recommends wearing a mask indoors in public. Aroostook, Franklin, and Oxford counties have been high risk for two consecutive weeks.

The CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in all indoor public transportation settings regardless of the level of community risk. The CDC also encourages people to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if they have symptoms.

Since the pandemic began, Maine has recorded 264,051 cases and 2,366 deaths.

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