An edited sign on a Portland storefront door tells customers they must wear a mask on Sunday Jan. 10, 2022. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Maine hit a dire milestone for COVID-19 hospitalizations on Monday, just two days after the previous one was set.

There are 403 Mainers hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state as of Saturday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from the previous record of 399, set on Saturday.

Of those, 107 are in critical care, while there are 57 people on ventilators in hospitals across the state, both below previous records.

That comes as the state’s health care system is under increasing strain from elevated infections and staffing shortages worsened by the pandemic.

Although the super-contagious omicron variant is causing milder cases, the increased spread is likely to land more people in the hospital at a time when mild breakthrough cases further challenge hospital staffing. Furthermore, omicron could cause the number of detected cases to skyrocket.

Nationwide, first responders, hospitals, schools and government agencies are struggling to keep up as the current explosion of omicron-fueled coronavirus infections is causing a breakdown in basic functions and services.