The Maine CDC reports 339 COVID-19 cases, one more death

State health officials reported 339 new cases of COVID-19 in Maine on Monday, as well as an additional death.

Cases continue to rise in Maine – and much of the nation – even as the first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are given to health care providers and first responders. Deliveries of a second vaccine, made by pharmaceutical company Moderna, also began arriving in Maine on Monday.

The 339 new cases reported Monday by the Tomorrow’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention bring the state’s total number from mid-March to 19,285 cases, with only shy of the 3,000 that occurred last Monday.

The only additional death brings Maine’s total to 293 and reaches more than 33 reported on Monday, including 11 on Saturday. The seven-day average in new daily cases rose to 426 on Monday, up slightly from 423 last month, but more than twice the seven-day average of 187 new daily cases four weeks ago.

Cumberland County had the highest number of new cases at 107, followed by Androscoggin County with 61 cases. New cases have been reported in all but Maine counties, including Knox Conty, including 55 new cases in Kennebec County, 47 in York, 13 in Penobscot, 11 in both Oxford and Somerset, six in Aroostook, five in Franklin, three in Washington, two in both Sagadahoc and Lincoln, and one each in Waldo, Hancock, and Piscataquis counties.

While the virus shows little sign of slowing its spread in Maine, there could be a long-awaited financial relief on the way to individuals and businesses struggling in the midst of the pandemic.

A woman is fixing her mask while walking on the Roosevelt Trail in Naples on Thursday, December 10th. Derek Davis

On Sunday, congressional leaders announced an agreement on a $ 900 billion COVID-19 economic aid package, which includes additional forgivable loans to small businesses, as well as $ 600 in incentive payments to most Americans. The aid package, which is expected to be approved by Congress on Monday, also includes an additional $ 300 a week in unemployment benefits for 11 weeks.

Regarding vaccination, the CDC in Maine reported on Sunday afternoon that 4,493 people received the first round of vaccines for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Dr. Pfizer. Tomorrow he received more than 12,000 initial doses of Pfizer vaccine last week, but was expected to receive a batch of less than 8,775 this week due to federal distribution issues.

On Monday morning, the CDC director in Maine, Dr. Nirav Shah, announced that the vaccines from Moderna have started arriving in Maine and posted on Twitter an image of the gloved hands holding a box of vaccines. Tomorrow he placed an initial order for 24,200 doses of Modern vaccine based on the state’s allocation through the federal vaccination program Operation Warp Speed.

People who are vaccinated with either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines should receive two separate shots a few weeks apart. Clinical studies have shown that both vaccines have been over 90% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in people aged 18 years or older, although the Moderna vaccine does not require the super-cold storage required for the Pfizer variety.

The first doses in Maine are given to front-line health workers at the highest risk of contracting and spreading the virus.

Shah is expected to provide an update on the coronavirus situation in Maine during a briefing at 2 p.m.

This story will be updated.

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