For the first time since the pandemic started, Maine recorded more than 200 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day.

The 204 cases logged Monday shattered the previous high of 184 set on Friday. Maine’s seven-day average for new cases is now 160.9, a leap from just two weeks ago when the seven-day case average was 44.4. It was 31.9 a month ago.

Maine’s climbing case counts comes on the same day that New York-based Pfizer said that its coronavirus vaccine appears to be 90 percent effective. An emergency use authorization for the vaccine could be approved later this month, and some people could start receiving the vaccine later this year, with it becoming more widely available in 2021. Another vaccine candidate being developed by Massachusetts-based Moderna is in late-stage development, and could receive emergency use approval shortly after the Pfizer vaccine.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that an outbreak at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham has now reached 131 cases, with 118 cases among inmates and 13 cases among staff.

The agency also reported new outbreaks with nine cases at the Pentecostals of Jonesport Church, nine cases Ruby’s restaurant in York, three cases at the Portland Pie Company location in Windham and four cases at KidsPeace in Ellsworth. Also on Monday, St. Joseph’s College in Standish announced that three of students have tested positive and are in isolation.

The percent positive rate on Monday stood at 2.14 percent, more than triple the 0.66 percent positivity rate from two weeks ago. A higher positivity rate makes it harder for public health workers to halt transmission of the virus by contact tracing cases and quarantining most people who are contagious.

Also on Monday, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services said it has formed a partnership with Falmouth-based Promerica Health to open two new COVID-19 testing sites.

One is already open at the Portland International Jetport, with daily hours from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. for inbound travelers and the general public, by appointment. The tests will be free, and rapid testing also will be available at the jetport for a $25 fee.

Soon, testing also will be available at Downtown Auburn Transportation center on weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Appointments at both sites can be made at Covidtestforme.com.

The two new testing sites are in addition to the more than two dozen Maine DHHS “swab and send” sites that are open throughout Maine.

Of the new cases on Monday, 62 were in Cumberland County, 52 in Androscoggin County and 22 in York County.

 

Hospitalizations continue to climb, with 49 people currently hospitalized across the state, and 14 in intensive care.

A month ago, hospitalizations were in the single digits in Maine.

 

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