Maine reports 411 new cases of COVID-19 and six additional deaths on Tuesday as the high number of cases continues as the first vaccine doses begin to arrive.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Maine has recorded 16,760 cases of COVID-19 and 265 deaths. The seven-day daily mean of new cases was 388.3 Tuesday, compared to 297.9 a week ago and 181 a month ago.
Vaccines are expected to continue to roll to Maine this week, with about 4,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine expected today, while the state could also see shipments of the Moderna vaccine arriving late this week or early next week. Monday, the first shipments of vaccines arrived, with 975 doses to Northern Light Mercy Hospital in Portland and another 975 to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.
Initial deliveries are expected to total 12,675 for hospitals and nursing homes, while the state is expected to receive about 75,000 doses of both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines within the next two to three weeks. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require a starting dose and then a booster shot three to four weeks later.
Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a media briefing Monday that while the vaccines are good news, only a small fraction of the millions of doses needed to immunize Mainers have arrived, so it’s important to follow public health practices pending the last few months before the vaccines become widely available. Executives should continue to wear masks, avoid meetings and wash hands regularly, he said.
“Even if you see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s important to remember you’re still in a tunnel,” Shah said. “There are still many steps ahead of us.”
This story is being updated.
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