Maine's COVID hospitalizations, new cases hold steady

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Jul. 26—The number of Maine hospital patients with COVID-19 and the number of new cases reported by the state both held steady Tuesday.

A total of 119 patients were hospitalized with the virus as of Tuesday morning, including 16 in critical care and one on a ventilator, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The overall number was unchanged from Monday after falling 17 percent in the previous three days.

The state also reported 488 new cases of COVID in its first update in three days. The seven-day average of new cases now stands at 203 and has hovered around 200 cases per day for the past five weeks. Maine's official case counts do not include infections confirmed using at-home tests.

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising nationwide because of omicron BA.5 and related subvariants. While the strains also are circulating in Maine, the state's infection rate remains significantly lower than the national average.

The national seven-day case rate is 263 for every 100,000 persons, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Maine's seven-day infection rate is 103 per 100,000, according to federal data. Only North Carolina, New Hampshire and Vermont have lower infection rates. Kentucky, California and Florida have the nation's highest infection rates.

Since the pandemic began, Maine has recorded 274,988 cases and 2,465 deaths.