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Maine has detected its first cases of the more contagious version of the omicron variant

Virus Outbreak 300K Deaths
Robert F. Bukaty
AP file
In this Dec. 8, 2020, file photo, heath care workers help each other with their personal protective equipment at the start of their shift at a mobile testing location for COVID-19, in Auburn, Maine.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine is unchanged from Sunday, with 168 people receiving care.

The number on ventilators is also the same, at 13. Patients in the ICU dipped slightly from 40 to 39.

Overall, those numbers have dropped by more than half compared to a month ago.

The Maine CDC has also detected the first two cases of the BA.2 variant in the state, which is about 30% more contagious than the current dominant omicron strain.

According to the latest data from the U.S. CDC, BA.2 has been found across the country and accounts for about 4% of all new COVID cases