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Maine
Posted
Updated July 13, 2021
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Maine reports 65 new cases of COVID-19 over 3 days

The state announced the opening of a new vaccination clinic at the Portland International Jetport, as it strives to add more people to the list of those protected against the virus.

Maine reported 65 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, a total that represents new cases over the weekend and Monday.

Also on Tuesday, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services launched a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Portland International Jetport, to be open seven days a week from noon to 8 p.m. The clinic opened on Tuesday.

Since Maine’s civil state of emergency ended June 30, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention no longer routinely updates its COVID-19 case count on weekends and holidays. Tuesday’s numbers include new cases from Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

The airport vaccine clinic is offering the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine to anyone 18 and older. The clinic is open to anyone, Maine residents and out-of-state travelers arriving in Maine. No appointments are required.

“This partnership offers more safe, effective and free COVID-19 vaccinations to Maine people and anyone flying into or out of the state. Adding this clinic, with vaccinations available regardless of residency, is another way to ensure that Maine is one of the safest places to be this summer,” Jeanne Lambrew, Maine’s health and human services commissioner, said in a statement.

Paul Bradbury, jetport director, said in a statement that Maine was a “great partner” during the pandemic, and the airport was a COVID-19 testing site where more than 35,000 people received a COVID test from November 2020 through May 2021.

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“We are now excited to be able to provide single-shot vaccines to travelers and community members,” Bradbury said.

For those who are not flying but want a COVID-19 vaccine, the airport is providing free 45-minute parking.

There were no additional COVID-19 deaths reported Tuesday. Since the pandemic began, Maine has recorded 69,284 cases of COVID-19, and 862 deaths. The seven-day average of daily new cases stood at 23.7 on Tuesday, compared to 17.7 a week ago and 50.9 a month ago.

Elsewhere in the country, in all states but Maine and South Dakota, COVID-19 cases ended a long decline and have begun to increase again over the last two weeks. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, infections rose to an average of 23,600 on Monday from 11,300 on June 23, The Associated Press reported.

Public health experts attributed the increase to lagging vaccination rates, Independence Day gatherings that increased exposures and the rising prevalence of the delta variant, which is more transmissible.

On the vaccination front, 796,729 Maine people have received their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, representing 59.3 percent of the state’s 1.3 million residents. There remain wide disparities for vaccination coverage among Maine’s counties. In Cumberland County, Maine’s most populous, 70.6 percent of the population has received the final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to a low of 47 percent in Somerset County. Hancock, Sagadahoc, Lincoln and Knox counties have more than 60 percent of their populations fully vaccinated.

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In other COVID-19 news, MaineHealth has tested 49 samples from screened patients who had perplexing characteristics, like very sick young people or fully vaccinated people who found – usually to their surprise – that they were infected. Eighteen of them – 36.7 percent – tested positive for the delta variant, MaineHealth’s chief health improvement officer, Dr. Dora Anne Mills, said Friday.

The official count from the Maine CDC of the delta variant is five cases through July 9, with an additional five cases under investigation. The delta variant – which is far more contagious – is expected to increase in prevalence.

“Maine CDC expects to see a greater impact of the delta variant in the state in the coming weeks,” Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, said via email last week. “While Maine’s high vaccination rate limits routes of transmission, the delta variant is opportunistic.”

Meanwhile, the number of Maine residents who are 70 or older and have not had their final dose of coronavirus vaccine has fallen below 20,000. Maine has one of the oldest median ages in the country at about 45. Like most states, Maine prioritized inoculating older residents when coronavirus vaccines first became available. About 90 percent of Mainers 70 and older have now had their final dose. That means the number of residents in that age group who are not fully vaccinated is a little more than 19,000.

Maine has about 190,000 residents who are 70 or older according to the U.S. census.

Currently, 28 people are hospitalized in Maine with COVID-19, with 18 in critical care.

This report contains material from The Associated Press.

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