In this Dec. 28, 2021, file photo, a Portland mannequin wears a mask. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Eleven more Mainers have died and another 1,519 coronavirus cases reported across the state, Maine health officials said Wednesday.

That number of reported cases has fallen from the staggering sums coming out of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention since early last week, and the lowest since Feb. 11. The agency continues to grapple with a large backlog of positive cases from the winter’s severe omicron surge, spurring health officials to point to falling hospitalizations as a better barometer of the virus than the current daily case counts.

Wednesday’s report brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 222,925, according to the Maine CDC. That’s up from 221,406 on Tuesday. 

Of those, 162,430 have been confirmed positive, while 60,495 were classified as “probable cases,” the Maine CDC reported.

Nine men and two women have succumbed to the virus, bringing the statewide death toll to 1,971.

Two were from Aroostook County, two from Kennebec County, one from Lincoln County, two from Penobscot County, two from Somerset County and two from York County.

Of those, three were 80 or older, four were in their 70s, three in their 60s and one in their 50s.

The number of coronavirus cases diagnosed in the past 14 days statewide is 39,426. 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 39,005 on Tuesday.

The new case rate statewide Wednesday was 11.35 cases per 10,000 residents, and the total case rate statewide was 1,665.60.

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, 4,275 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. Of those, 211 are currently hospitalized, with 41 in critical care and 16 on a ventilator. Overall, 74 out of 356 critical care beds and 262 out of 328 ventilators are available.

The total statewide hospitalization rate on Wednesday was 31.94 patients per 10,000 residents.

Cases have been reported in Androscoggin (21,436), Aroostook (11,233), Cumberland (46,029), Franklin (5,477), Hancock (6,832), Kennebec (21,082), Knox (5,561), Lincoln (4,893), Oxford (10,689), Penobscot (25,531), Piscataquis (2,725), Sagadahoc (4,761), Somerset (8,964), Waldo (5,725), Washington (3,875) and York (37,814) counties. Information about where an additional 228 cases were reported wasn’t immediately available.

An additional 668 vaccine doses were administered in the previous 24 hours. As of Wednesday, 986,228 Mainers are fully vaccinated, or about 77 percent of eligible Mainers, according to the Maine CDC.

As of Wednesday morning, the coronavirus had sickened 78,655,437 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 939,389 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.