COVID hospitalizations fall again in Maine

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Jun. 7—The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to fall in Maine.

There were 153 hospitalized patients statewide as of Tuesday morning, including 21 in critical care and 8 on ventilators, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That's down from 160 total patients on Monday and down 34 percent from May 17, when Maine reported a three-month peak of 231 hospitalized patients.

Health officials have said most patients who need hospital care are either unvaccinated or are older and have underlying medical conditions. The latest variants of the virus are more likely to infect people who have been vaccinated or previously infected, but they also tend to cause less severe symptom than earlier strains.

Maine also reported 557 new cases of COVID on Tuesday, the first update since Saturday. Daily case counts also have dropped steadily since mid-May.

The state added 18 more COVID-related deaths to the pandemic total on Tuesday. The relatively large number indicates the state conducted a review of death records from past weeks or months to identify people who were not initially counted as COVID related deaths.

Maine, which had the nation's highest infection rate a month ago, now has a rate that is well below the national average and one of the lowest in the Northeast.

Maine has recorded 151 new COVID cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The national seven-day infection rate is 230 cases per 100,000 people.