COVID-19 hospitalizations down slightly in Maine

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Jun. 18—The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine went down slightly on Saturday, the state reported.

There were 136 patients with the virus in hospitals statewide, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. On Friday, the state reported 138 Mainers in hospitals with the coronavirus.

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

The state also reported 307 new cases of the virus Saturday with no additional deaths. Officials note the case number is underreported since many who take at-home tests do not report the results.

In the past week the state has seen virtually no change in case counts or hospitalizations. Federal data released Thursday showed no change in community levels or safety advice for Maine's 16 counties, with all of Maine now classified as being at medium or low risk of community spread.

Maine has among the highest percentage of fully vaccinated residents, now 74.45 percent. That number will likely climb higher with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorizing vaccines for children ages of 6 months and up.

In Maine, shots are expected to begin being administered to preschoolers this coming week.

The Maine CDC expects 24,200 vaccine doses to arrive in the new week and be sent to hospitals and medical offices right away. The first shipment will be split between the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

There are an estimated 60,000 Maine children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. Maine ranks near the top nationally for vaccinations and boosters among older children and adults, according to Robert Long of the Maine CDC.

Since the pandemic began, Maine has recorded 267,707 cases and 2,408 deaths.