Retired cardiologist Warren Alpern, left, gets information from Sean Hennessey, 59, of Bath before administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at a MaineHealth clinic outside Becky’s Diner in Portland on June 2. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 20 additional cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and no additional deaths.

Case numbers continue to trend downward in Maine and across much of the country as more people are vaccinated against the disease. With the 20 new cases reported Tuesday, Maine’s seven-day average stood at 35 compared to 99 for the week ending June 1, and a weekly average of 421 just two months ago.

The last time Maine’s weekly average was this low was in October before cases skyrocketed and remained elevated for much of the winter. During the worst of the wintertime surge, at a time when vaccine doses were just starting to be administered to the most vulnerable populations around the state, Maine was averaging more than 600 new cases per day.

There have been at least 854 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Maine, 14 of which have been reported since June 1. To date, the Maine CDC has tracked 68,864 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 since the virus was first detected in the state in March 2020.

There were 32 people hospitalized statewide with COVID-19, 16 of whom were being treated in critical care units. Five people were connected to ventilators.

On the vaccination front, just over 57 percent of the state’s 1.3 million residents – and 65 percent of those age 12 or older who are currently eligible – have received all of the shots necessary for full vaccination against COVID-19. That number has plateaued in recent weeks, however, as the pace of vaccination slows considerably.

Maine currently ranks third in the nation, behind Vermont and Massachusetts, in terms of the percent of the population that is fully vaccinated, according to tracking by Bloomberg.

COVID-19 vaccines are free and are available without appointment at locations throughout the state. For a list of vaccine providers, go to maine.gov/covid19/vaccines/vaccination-sites or call the state’s COVID-19 Community Vaccination Line at 1-888-445-4111.

As of Tuesday morning, 208,382 Maine residents had registered for the state’s “Don’t Miss Your Shot: Vaccinationland Sweepstakes” that aims to incentivize additional people to get vaccinated. The sweepstakes prize – the equivalent of $1 for every person who receives at least one shot by July 4 – was up to $883,075 on Tuesday.

Maine had eliminated nearly all COVID-related restrictions on businesses and individuals just before the start of the busy summer tourism season, although businesses can continue to request that shoppers wear masks or physically distance.

Starting Wednesday, Maine Medical Center in Portland will resume full visitor hours – offering visits from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – and is relaxing other policies. Some restrictions will remain, however, including:

• Allowing only one visitor at a time (but no per-day limit) in adult in-patient units and two visitors at a time in pediatric and obstetrics units, space permitting.

• Only one person can accompany an adult patient into the emergency department or two parents/guardians for pediatric patients, although some exceptions can be arranged.

• One visitor per patient at Maine Medical Partner practices.

• No visitors to COVID-19 units except for compassionate care.

• Masks are still required in all facilities.

“Throughout this pandemic, Maine Medical Center has adjusted our visitor policy with the safety and well-being of our patients and care team in mind,” Jeff Sanders, Maine Medical Center’s president, said in a statement. “While some restrictions are still necessary, extending our visitor hours can be done safely, and we know how important visitation is to our patients and families.”


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