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Maine Reports 415 New Coronavirus Cases, 2 Deaths On Saturday

APTOPIX Virus Outbreak Maine
Robert F. Bukaty
A healthcare worker watches as a patient uses a swab at a mobile testing location for COVID-19, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Auburn, Maine. More than 14,000 Mainers have been diagnosed with the disease and 239 have died.

Maine's coronavirus surge still appears to be gaining speed, with the state reporting 415 new infections and two deaths on Saturday.

That's pushed the seven-day average of new cases to 246, it's highest point since the middle of May.

Hospitalizations are also on an upswing as the highly contagious delta variant drives infections, particularly among the state's unvaccinated.

On Friday, 133 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, including 59 in critical care and 27 on ventilators. That tied the state's record for COVID-19 patients in critical care set during last winter's surge.

Hospital officials in Maine are warning that they're straining to meet all the new demand amid staffing shortages and seasonal demand, and are pleading with Mainers to get vaccinated, wear face masks in indoor public spaces and take other steps to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.