The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine declined slightly on Saturday as new cases continued on a downward trend.

There are 132 people hospitalized with the virus around the state, including 18 in critical care and 10 on ventilators, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s down slightly from 135 patients hospitalized on Friday and about 43 percent less than a three-month peak of 231 hospitalized patients on May 17.

The state also reported 220 new cases on Saturday, bringing the seven-day average down to 248 new cases per day. The state was reporting an average of more than 800 new cases a day in early May, though that has been steadily declining over the last few weeks. The state also reported one additional COVID-related death Saturday.

Maine had the nation’s highest COVID-19 infection rate just over a month ago, but now ranks 42nd, though some northeastern states are faring slightly better. Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont all have slightly lower infection rates.

Maine’s infection rate has dropped from 358 new cases per 100,000 residents one month ago to 135 new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days, according to the latest data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Maine’s rate is now the ninth lowest among all states and well below the national seven-day infection rate of 225 cases per 100,000 people.

And new federal data released Thursday shows all 16 Maine counties are now designated as having low or medium community levels of the virus. Twelve counties are now designated as low, which means there is no longer a formal masking recommendation for most of the state based on reduced case counts and hospitalizations.

Since the pandemic began, Maine has recorded 266,105 cases and 2,403 deaths.

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