In this March 13, 2020, file photo, a sign directs patients with respiratory symptoms to a tent at the Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Central Maine Medical Center has seen a record-high number of COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care for the second week in a row.

Despite the success that Maine has had with getting vaccines in arms around the state, the Lewiston hospital cared for 24 infected patients last Friday and Saturday, the most at any one time since the pandemic began, the Lewiston Sun Journal reported.

The Lewiston hospital has recorded the second most COVID-19 hospitalizations behind the Maine Medical Center in Portland. Lewiston hospital staff are caring for an average of 20.4 COVID-19 inpatients each day, an increase from the previous record of 18.6 set last week, according to the Sun Journal.

Over the past week, three quarters of COVID-19 patients there have required intensive care, the newspaper reported. Three coronavirus deaths happened at the hospital in the past week.

Doctors told the Lewiston newspaper that the majority of inpatients were under the age of 60, a marked change from hospitalizations at the onset of the pandemic. Doctors at Portland’s Maine Medical Center reported a similar trend in April, with patients aged 20 to 50 accounting for the majority of hospitalizations.

This comes as southern Maine continues to see high numbers of COVID-19 infections, and Androscoggin County continues to remain a coronavirus hotspot.

Hospitalizations at Maine Medical Center, Northern Light Mercy Hospital in Portland, Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick have continued to increase, the Lewiston newspaper reported.

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.