Clint Turnage readies a syringe with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at FEMA’s mobile vaccination clinic at Biddeford High School on April 25. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Maine reported 318 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and two additional deaths. Case counts are being driven largely by people younger than 40, many of whom have not yet been immunized.

Of the cases recorded on Thursday, 227, or 71 percent, were from people younger than age 40, including 100 from people in their 20s. In contrast, there were only 24 cases among people 60 and over, representing 7.5 percent of new cases. Seventy-eight percent of those 60 and older had received at least the first dose of the vaccine in Maine, compared to 40 percent of those younger than 40.

Since the pandemic began, Maine has logged 63,175 cases of COVID-19, and 793 deaths.

The seven-day average of daily new cases stood at 326 on Thursday, compared to 305.4 a week ago and 288.9 a month ago. In mid-April, the seven-day average was about 450 cases.

There are currently 129 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine, including 49 in critical care.

The state continues to vaccinate its population more quickly than most others and has the highest percentage of its population fully vaccinated. However, demand is weakening and the pace of immunizations is slowing.

In an effort to make getting a shot more convenient, many clinics are offering vaccinations to walk-ins and extending hours into the evening and weekends.

A Sanford clinic, which is operated by MaineHealth at the former Marshalls, has begun accepting walk-ins and started offering evening hours on Thursday. Walk-in vaccinations were being offered from 5-8 p.m. Thursday and will be available during the same hours on May 11, May 13, May 18, May 20, May 25 and May 27.

“Evening hours are another way that we can help make COVID-19 vaccination more accessible,” Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement.

In Lewiston, a mobile clinic is being launched on Friday in the city’s municipal parking lot at One Oak Street. The walk-in clinic will begin vaccinating people from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday, followed by hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 10, 1-7 p.m. on May 11, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 12, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 13, and 7 a.m. to noon on May 14. The clinic is a partnership between the state, Promerica Health and the city of Lewiston.

In Auburn, the Auburn Mall mass vaccination site will begin permitting walk-ins starting on Friday. The hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Also, at Northern Light Mercy Hospital in Portland, Northern Light Pharmacy on the hospital’s Fore River campus began offering walk-in vaccinations from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, beginning Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Starting next week, Northern Light Health’s clinic at the Portland Expo will transition to offering only walk-in vaccinations on Wednesdays and Fridays.

At MaineHealth’s Scarborough Downs mass vaccination clinic, the Pfizer vaccine was available for walk-ins on Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. From Monday through May 13, also from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available for walk-ins, and at the same times and days of the week the following week.

For a list of vaccination clinics and contact information for those sites around the state, go to maine.gov/covid19/vaccines/vaccination-sites or call the state’s Community Vaccination Line at 888-445-4111.

Through Thursday, 647,479 people had received at least their first dose of the vaccine, representing 48.2 percent of the state’s 1.3 million population. Also, 556,301, or 41.2 percent of the population, had gotten their final dose.

On Wednesday, the University of New England joined a growing rank of colleges and universities that will require COVID-19 vaccinations for in-person learning for the fall semester. Bowdoin College in Brunswick had also announced a vaccination requirement in April.

“We are learning more every day about the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines in protecting us from serious illness, hospitalization, and death from the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, as well as the vaccines’ ability to prevent transmission of the virus to others,” UNE President James Herbert said in a statement. “As vaccines have become increasingly available, we can all envision how this incredible scientific advancement will allow us to return to the normal UNE activities on our campuses we all miss so much.”

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.