In this Dec. 16, 2021, file photo, members of the Maine National Guard arrive for orientation an empty wing at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Maine saw COVID-19 hospitalizations surge setsr record on Wednesday.

There are 436 Mainers hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state as of Thursday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from the previous record of 413, set Wednesday.

Of those, 103 are in critical care, while there are 53 people on ventilators in hospitals across the state, both down from the day before and 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. That’s prompted one Lewiston hospital, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, to allow staff infected with mild cases to continue working to alleviate the strain. In response to the staffing shortages, Gov. Janet Mills has mobilized nearly 200 National Guard troops to assist hospitals.

Infections are becoming more common among health care workers within hospitals and other facilities. It’s a situation public health authorities caution could become exacerbated if Maine sees a surge in omicron infections as witnessed in many other states, though the variant is causing milder cases.