In this Dec. 8, 2020, file photo, a health care worker wears personal protective equipment as she speaks to a patient at a mobile testing location for COVID-19 in Auburn. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine set another record for the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units on Wednesday, as the spread of the virus stretches the health care system.

As of Wednesday morning, 88 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care beds, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, up from 82 the day before, while 226 patients were hospitalized in all, an increase of one from Tuesday, which held the previous record.

Most hospitalized COVID-19 patients continued to be unvaccinated. The rising patient numbers have strained hospital resources, with some facilities putting off certain elective surgeries to ensure they have available beds for COVID-19 patients or others requiring emergency care.

Hospitalizations in Maine have continued to climb in the past few weeks even as they have started to decline nationwide, as some southern states that saw spikes earlier in the summer, such as Alabama and Florida, have started seeing fewer patients, according to a New York Times analysis.

Even with the recent rise here, Maine still maintains a lower hospitalization rate than all but nine other states. But cases do not seem to have turned a corner here yet, with 614 new infections reported Wednesday.