The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine declined for a third straight day Monday and is now down 17 percent since Friday.

A total of 119 infected patients were hospitalized statewide as of Monday morning, including 17 in critical care and one on a ventilator, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The overall patient count is down from 130 on Sunday and from 143 on Friday.

Maine’s CDC does not release new case numbers on Mondays because data is not updated on weekends. The state’s seven-day average of new cases is 197 and has been hovering around 200 cases per day for several weeks.

Nationwide, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising because of the omicron BA.5 variant and related subvariants. Maine’s infection rate remains significantly lower than the national average.

The national seven-day case rate is 266 for every 100,000 persons, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Maine’s seven-day infection rate is 102 for every 100,000 persons, according to federal data. The five states with the highest infection rates are California, with 378.9 infections per 100,000, followed by New Mexico, Florida, Kentucky and Alabama.

The five states with the lowest infection rates are Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

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