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Another record high number of COVID-19 patients are hospitalized in Maine

Bradley Mattes
Robert F. Bukaty
Bradley Mattes, associate nurse leader at Central Maine Medical Center, questions patients at the emergency entrance to the hospital, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Lewiston, Maine. "I refer to myself as the Walmart greeter of nurses," said Mattes, who questions patients to determine if their symptoms indicate the need for testing for the coronavirus or other medical attention.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Maine have again hit a record high on Tuesday, with 330 people getting inpatient treatment for the disease.

One-hundred are in critical care and 46 are on ventilators.

Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah tweeted that about 65% of those hospitalized aren't vaccinated, but that rate is much higher in intensive care units, where roughly 90% of patients are not vaccinated.

Shah also said that most of the 17 deaths reported on Tuesday are from the holiday weekend.

Maine is also reporting 914 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

The new cases come after the state did not report COVID data for three days after the Thanksgiving holiday. The Maine CDC reported 259 new coronavirus cases and 4 deaths on Monday.

Hospitalizations remain high, with 323 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Monday. Ninety-nine are in critical care and 43 are on ventilators. The spike in cases over the last three weeks has led to record hospitalizations in the state, forcing Maine hospitals to expand capacity to meet the demand.

On Monday, the Mills administration said it was closely tracking the new omicron variant, but some health officials say it will only be a matter of days before it is detected in the state.

Last week, the WHO officially designated omicron a "variant of concern" and sited preliminary evidence of an increased risk of reinfection. It is still unclear whether the existing vaccines will protect against the variant. Still, health officials say the best protection for now is to get vaccinated and get a booster shot.

Updated: November 30, 2021 at 3:07 PM EST
This piece has been updated with COVID-19 hospitalization numbers for Tuesday.