A sign on a Portland shop window advises customers masks are required for entry on Tuesday Dec. 28, 2021. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Maine is continuing to see a drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations, a potential sign that the state is seeing fewer cases of the virus.

There are 304 Mainers hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday. That’s down from 319 on Tuesday and more than 30 percent from the high of 436, set on Jan. 13, state data show.

COVID-19 patients in critical care and on ventilators are also decreasing, but not as significantly — to 70 and 27, respectively.

Wednesday’s drop comes a month after Maine hit a dire milestone for hospitalizations, marking more than 400 for the first time since the pandemic started in March 2020.

Since January, Maine’s cases have been consistently undercounted because officials have been swamped by the highly contagious omicron variant, obscuring a likely drop in cases in recent weeks. That backlog grew from 46,000 tests to 58,000 as of earlier last week.

But other figures such as declining positive tests, hospitalizations — as Maine has seen in the past couple of weeks — and newly released wastewater data indicate the state has likely followed the rest of the country on a significant drop in cases.