In this Jan. 11, 2022, file photo, commuters brave the single digit temperatures as they arrive on a ferry in Portland. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Twenty-one more Mainers have died and another 10,968 coronavirus cases reported across the state since the weekend, Maine health officials said Tuesday.

That jump in virus cases comes as the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention continues to grapple with a backlog of more than 50,000 positive virus cases, making the daily case counts less reliable indicators of the severity of the virus’ spread across the state. Other indicators, including falling hospitalizations and wastewater testing, suggest the coronavirus may be loosening its grip on Maine.

Tuesday’s report brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 198,665, according to the Maine CDC. That’s up from 187,697 on Saturday.

Of those, 146,407  have been confirmed positive, while 52,258 were classified as “probable cases,” the Maine CDC reported.

Ten men and 11 women have succumbed to the virus, bringing the statewide death toll to 1,849.

Five people from Androscoggin County, two from Aroostook County, three from Cumberland County, two from Kennebec County, two from Lincoln County, two from Penobscot County, one from Sagadahoc County, one from Somerset County and three from York County.

Of those, seven were 80 or older, six were in their 70s, two in their 60s, one in their 50s, one in their 40s and four in their 30s.

The number of coronavirus cases diagnosed in the past 14 days statewide is 22,906. This is an estimation of the current number of active cases in the state, as the Maine CDC is no longer tracking recoveries for all patients. That’s up from 13,472 on Monday.

The new case rate statewide Tuesday was 81.95 cases per 10,000 residents, and the total case rate statewide was 1,484.34.

The most cases have been detected in Mainers younger than 20, while Mainers over 80 years old account for the largest portion of deaths. More cases have been recorded in women and more deaths in men.

So far, 4,180 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. Of those, 260 are currently hospitalized, with 64 in critical care and 27 on a ventilator. Overall, 43 out of 372 critical care beds and 247 out of 328 ventilators are available.

That marks a 40 percent fall in hospitalizations since Jan. 13, when 436 Mainers were hospitalized with the virus.

The total statewide hospitalization rate on Tuesday was 31.23 patients per 10,000 residents.

Cases have been reported in Androscoggin (19,598), Aroostook (9,528), Cumberland (41,902), Franklin (4,810), Hancock (5,903), Kennebec (18,882), Knox (4,860), Lincoln (4,317), Oxford (9,481), Penobscot (22,356), Piscataquis (2,466), Sagadahoc (4,208), Somerset (8,047), Waldo (4,970), Washington (3,443) and York (33,741) counties. Information about where an additional 153 cases were reported wasn’t immediately available.

An additional 667 vaccine doses were administered in the previous 24 hours. As of Tuesday, 982,895 Mainers are fully vaccinated, or about 76.7 percent of eligible Mainers, according to the Maine CDC.

As of Tuesday morning, the coronavirus had sickened 77,919,052 people in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as caused 922,473 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.