The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 declined slightly Tuesday, continuing a general downward trend over the past six weeks.

But the state also reported an uptick in the number of new cases, a reminder that the disease continues to circulate in Maine communities.

Maine’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 466 new cases in its first update in three days, raising the seven-day average to 229 cases per day from 146 cases per day a week ago. The official count does not include infections confirmed with at-home tests.

The state also reported one additional COVID-related death.

As of Tuesday morning, Maine hospitals were caring for a total 109 patients, including 16 in critical care and four on ventilators. The overall number is down from 112 on Monday and 166 one month ago.

While new, more contagious subvariants of the disease, including omicron BA.4 and BA.5, continue to spread here and drive up the state’s case counts, the virus is more widespread in nearly all other states. Maine has recorded 84 cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, while the national rate is 212 cases per 100,000 people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of Tuesday, Maine had the fourth-lowest infection rate, after South Carolina, North Carolina and New Hampshire.

Hawaii, Florida and California now have the nation’s highest infection rates.

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