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

AUGUSTA, Maine — The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine surpassed 200 again after a weekend spike, highlighting the continued challenge the virus poses here.

As of Monday, 201 patients were hospitalized with the virus, up from 165 a week ago. Sixty-eight COVID-19 patients were in critical care units, while 31 were on ventilators, according to data from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 51 available critical care beds across the state.

The sudden rise comes after hospitalizations dipped in early October after setting a pandemic record in late September, when 235 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized. The rate of new virus cases in Maine remained roughly steady over the past week, with the seven-day average at 402 daily cases as of Monday.

While more than 80 percent of Maine adults are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the majority of hospitalized patients continue to be unvaccinated. Across Northern Light Health, the state’s second-largest hospital system, just 14 vaccinated patients were hospitalized as of Friday, compared to 39 patients who had not yet received any vaccine doses.