Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is pictured on Aug. 27, 2021. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

AUGUSTA, Maine — The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine reached the highest levels since early February on Wednesday as the state reported more than 400 new cases, which was also the highest daily total in months.

A total of 150 Mainers were hospitalized with the virus on Wednesday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, up from 142 a day prior. It is the highest single-day total since Feb. 3, when 158 patients were hospitalized during a winter surge nationally.

Total hospitalizations still remain lower than in January, when more than 200 Mainers were hospitalized with the virus. But hospitalizations are still trending in the wrong direction and have proven taxing for hospitals and health care workers.

Sixty-six patients were in critical care beds as of Wednesday, staying down slightly from last week’s peak of 71, while 26 were on ventilators, according to state data. The recent rise in cases has tested hospitals’ critical care capacity, particularly in the Bangor area, where Eastern Maine Medical Center saw 95 percent of intensive care unit beds filled last week.

The virus has spread here despite Maine’s high vaccination rate, with roughly three-quarters of adults fully vaccinated, according to federal data. Unvaccinated people continue to drive both transmission of the virus and hospitalizations. Since late January, when the first Mainers became fully vaccinated, unvaccinated Mainers have accounted for 89 percent of hospitalizations here, according to state data.

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