Maine COVID-19 hospitalizations increase by 10

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Jul. 16—With COVID-19 subvariants continuing to evolve, the number of Mainers hospitalized with the virus increased on Saturday.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 129 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus, 10 more than the day before.

Of those 129, 18 were in critical care units and two were on ventilators.

The state also reported 218 new cases on Saturday, an amount that has held relatively steady in recent weeks. There were no additional deaths.

The seven-day average of new cases increased to 216 per day from 181 a week ago, statistics posted Friday show. Official case counts do not include infections confirmed by people using at-home tests.

The latest versions, named omicron BA.4 and BA.5 by scientists, have become the predominant strains in Maine and nationally, Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, confirmed on Friday.

Infections from the subvariants now make up 76 percent of new cases of COVID-19 in New England and 81 percent nationally, Shah said. The disease is likely to continue mutating, extending a pandemic that has been running for more than two years.

Since the pandemic has began, Maine has logged 273,123 cases and 2,464 deaths.