The number of patients with COVID-19 in Maine hospitals dropped Friday for a third consecutive day.

Maine’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported a total of 114 hospitalizations Friday morning, including 24 people in critical care and four on ventilators. The overall number is down from 125 on Thursday and is one fewer than the number reported a week ago.

The CDC also reported 245 new cases Friday and eight additional COVID-related deaths. A significant increase in the state’s pandemic death count this week was largely the result of staff reviewing vital records and not an increased rate of fatalities.

Maine’s case counts and hospitalizations remain well above the levels recorded during the past two summers, likely the result of new omicron subvariants – BA.4 and BA.5 – that are more contagious than previous strains and more likely to reinfect people who had previous immunity from a past infection or vaccinations. The two subvariants have driven up case counts and hospitalizations around the world and are now believed to account for most new infections in Maine and nationwide.

However, Maine also continues to have one of the nation’s lowest infection rates as the virus spreads faster in southern and western states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Maine recorded 89 new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days, compared to a national rate of 225 cases per 100,000 people. Only Minnesota and Vermont had lower infection rates Friday.

Since the pandemic began, Maine has recorded 271,394 cases and 2,461 deaths.

Related Headlines

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.

filed under: