AUGUSTA, Maine — A record number of COVID-19 patients were in critical care units in Maine on Friday, as overall hospitalizations climb and cases continue to surge.
Seventy-six patients in Maine currently need intensive care beds, according to data from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 200 patients are currently hospitalized, the highest-single day total since Jan. 17, while 34 patients were on ventilators. Statewide, there were 46 available critical care beds as of Friday.
Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah called the record ICU cases “dispiriting” and said about 90 percent of patients requiring intensive care were not vaccinated. Across Northern Light Health, the state’s second-largest hospital system, 59 of 66 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were unvaccinated as of earlier this week, including 23 of 25 patients in critical care.
The Brewer-based hospital system has been hit especially hard by the latest wave in COVID-19 hospitalizations, as Penobscot County and nearby parts of the state have seen the greatest surge in cases. The rate of new COVID-19 cases has continued to accelerate in Maine even as overall infections have declined across the U.S., as states hit by the delta variant earlier have started to see drops.