The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 and no additional deaths, bringing the seven-day average of new daily cases to a low not seen since late October.

With an announcement from Gov. Janet Mills last week that Maine’s state of emergency will expire June 30, Mainers may now expect many of the past year’s restrictions on public life to fade away. That includes the mask mandate in public schools and day cares.

Maine’s cumulative COVID-19 cases rose to 68,590 on Sunday. Of those, 50,160 have been confirmed by testing and 18,430 are considered probable cases of COVID-19. The seven-day average of new daily cases was 51.1, while the 14-day average was 60.9 cases.

Eight hundred forty-five people have died with COVID-19 in Maine since the pandemic began.

Maine is gearing up for an open season in Vacationland, but pandemic-era travel restrictions are still keeping many foreign students away. That’s leaving some businesses short-staffed.

Funtown Splashtown USA in Saco relies on students from Jamaica and the Dominican Republic who come on short-term visas to work and explore Maine. The park delayed its spring opening by three weeks because those students couldn’t get visas, General Manager Cory Hutchinson said.

“We are scrambling right now to catch up on a lot of that stuff because we are so far behind from not having any of those students,” he told the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram.

Two years ago the park employed about 110 workers on short-term “J-1” visas. This year, Hutchinson expects only 45. The shortage forced him to raise the starting wage to $14.15 an hour, but even so, ticket prices are up by $2 and the venue is closing early each day.

Roughly 5,000 people came to Maine on J-1 visas in 2019, making up about 10 percent of the seasonal tourism workforce, HospitalityMaine Government Affairs Director Greg Dugal estimated.

“It’s a disaster, plainly and simply a disaster,” he said.

Most of continental Europe, as well as the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Brazil, India and South Africa, still prohibit direct travel to the U.S.

International workers also typically help to staff summer camps, a major seasonal industry in Maine that’s slated for reopening this year. Because of the young age of the children they host, the camps will still have to contend with pandemic-era precautions such as masks and social distancing – while scrambling for staff.

By Sunday morning, Maine had given 731,802 people the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and, with increased distribution of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 746,690 had received a final dose. Out of the state’s population of 1.3 million, 54.44 percent had received a first dose.

Among people 12 and older, the population currently eligible for vaccination, 63.05 percent are now fully vaccinated.

County by county as of Sunday, there had been 8,360 coronavirus cases in Androscoggin, 1,885 in Aroostook, 17,198 in Cumberland, 1,367 in Franklin, 1,370 in Hancock, 6,562 in Kennebec, 1,143 in Knox, 1,076 in Lincoln, 3,624 in Oxford, 6,285 in Penobscot, 574 in Piscataquis, 1,472 in Sagadahoc, 2,260 in Somerset, 1,046 in Waldo, 930 in Washington and 13,435 in York.

There were just two new cases in Cumberland County on Sunday; one each in Aroostook, Knox, Lincoln, Piscataquis and Sagadahoc counties; and none at all in Hancock County.

By age, 18.8 percent of patients were under 20, while 18.3 percent were in their 20s, 15.2 percent were in their 30s, 13.5 percent were in their 40s, 14.5 percent were in their 50s, 10.2 percent were in their 60s, 5.3 percent were in their 70s, and 4.2 percent were 80 or older.

There were 39 patients with COVID-19 in Maine hospitals on Sunday, of whom 23 were in intensive care and 12 were on ventilators. The state had 88 intensive care unit beds available of a total 372, and 240 ventilators available of 319. There were also 451 alternative ventilators.

Around the world on Sunday evening, there were 175.7 million cumulative cases of COVID-19 and 3.79 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States had 33.4 million cases and 599,748 deaths.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Daily Headlines

  • Sign up and get the top stories to begin the day delivered to your inbox at 6 a.m.