A total of 205 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine on Sunday, state public health authorities reported as a resurgence of the coronavirus continues.

Thirty-four of the hospitalized patients were in critical care units and five were on ventilators, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There were also 205 people with the infectious disease in hospitals statewide on Saturday.

With rising infections, federal experts now recommend that residents in much of Maine wear masks in public indoor spaces and in crowded outdoor spots.

On Friday, the city of Portland announced that members of the public and staff entering Portland City Hall must now wear masks after Cumberland County’s COVID-19 risk ranking rose from low to high.

Also, Portland Public Schools is now recommending – but not mandating – mask wearing for all staff members and students to limit the spread of the virus.

In Bangor, mask wearing will be mandated in all city buildings, including public schools, the city said.


When looking at the rate of infections, Maine isn’t doing well, having the highest seven-day case rate of all states, with 407.2 per 100,000 people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other New England states also have very high infection rates, according to the CDC. They are: Vermont, 394.7 per 100,000; Rhode Island, 385.1 per 100,000; and Massachusetts, 329,7 per 100,000.

But doctors note that the rise of cases and hospitalizations is not near the amount seen during January’s omicron surge, and that current cases are often mild. In addition, Maine’s high vaccination rate and recent omicron infections will protect most people from serious illness.

The prevalence of the coronavirus has spread in recent weeks. On April 1 all 16 Maine counties were declared as being at low risk for transmission of  COVID-19, but on Thursday the federal CDC categorized Cumberland County and seven other counties as being at high risk and recommended that people in those places wear masks: Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox, Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis and Aroostook.

Seven counties – York, Kennebec, Oxford, Franklin, Somerset, Waldo and Washington – are now classified as being at moderate risk and those with health issues should mask up, the CDC says. Androscoggin is the only county now categorized as low risk.

The state reported nine additional deaths and 961 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday.

The Maine CDC typically does not update new cases and additional deaths on Sundays and Mondays. Since the pandemic began, 2,325 people have died and the state has logged 250,689 cases.

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 is expected to hit 1 million this week, The Washington Post reported on Sunday.

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