The state on Saturday reported a decline in the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine.

According to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 178 patients were in hospitals statewide with the virus, compared to 183 on Friday.

Of those hospitalized on Saturday, 23 were in critical care units and five on ventilators.

The state also reported 315 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, down from 337 on Friday and an improvement over an average daily count of 803 in April. However, the number of infections is likely underreported since positive at-home test results often are not shared with health officials. The official count does give an indication whether overall virus transmission is easing or getting worse however.

On Saturday, the Maine CDC also reported 16 additional COVID-related deaths in Maine. The deaths did not take place within a single day, but were identified in a state review of vital records in recent weeks or months.

Since the pandemic began, Maine has logged 264,366 cases and 2,382 deaths.


In Cumberland, York, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Kennebec, Knox, Somerset and Waldo counties, the risk level of virus transmission is now classified as low. That means case and hospitalization numbers do not present a threat of straining medical center capacity. While a low-risk classification also means there is no recommendation that residents wear face masks for protection, the COVID-19 virus can still be circulating.

But this past week, the risk level of transmission in several of Maine’s other counties stood at medium or high, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Virus transmission levels were classified at medium in four counties: Androscoggin, Hancock, Penobscot and Washington. The recommendation for those counties indicates that those who have health risks should wear masks in public indoor spaces.

High-risk counties are Aroostook, Franklin, Oxford and Piscataquis, which means masks are recommended for everyone in public indoor spaces.

The head of the U.S. CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said Friday that 55 percent of the country’s population live in areas where there are medium or high levels of transmission risk for the virus, and that areas of different risks have shifted. The high- or medium-risk areas include much of the rest of the Northeast and Florida. Walensky tweeted on Friday that people should take precautions in those areas.

Health officials continue to recommend that everyone be up to date with vaccinations and wear masks on public transportation regardless of how that county’s transmission risk is rated.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.