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Maine's COVID hospitalizations reach 209 on Monday, as latest wave continues

Virus Outbreak US Surge
Robert F. Bukaty
AP file
Shoppers comply with the mask regulations to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus at Bridgton Books, Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, in Bridgton, Maine.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine increased again on Monday to 209. Last week, overall hospitalizations broke 200 for the first time since late February.

Dr. Dora Anne Mills, chief health improvement officer for MaineHealth, says people who are hospitalized fall under two categories: older and vaccinated, and younger and unvaccinated.

"I think the public messaging from that is that you know, it's important that if you're older, if you have high risk conditions, that you really take extra precautions right now because we are seeing a surge of cases across the state," Mills says.

Mills says one positive sign is that only 1%-2% of patients are on ventilators, as compared to about 20% in mid-December.

Mills says the increase is driven by highly contagious subvariants, and hospitalizations will likely continue to go up. She recommends wearing a mask indoors

"I'm masking indoors, at MaineHealth, in our non-healthcare offices, our office buildings, we're masking in meetings and things like that," she says.

Eight of Maine's 16 counties have high community levels of COVID.