The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday reported 160 cases of the novel coronavirus and two additional deaths, another moderate rise in cases that comes as Maine officials hope to save the summer tourist season with a combination of vaccine immunity and lowered restrictions.

Last week, Gov. Janet Mills announced rollbacks of travel restrictions from other New England states, and also eased precautions on bar and tasting room service. Mills’ decision anticipates widespread distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Maine by the summer, in hopes of keeping the state open for its normally lucrative tourist season.

Maine’s cumulative COVID-19 cases rose to 45,794 on Sunday. Of those, 35,846 have been confirmed by testing and 9,948 are considered probable cases of COVID-19. The seven-day average of new daily cases was 167.4.

Seven hundred six people have died with COVID-19 since the pandemic began in Maine. The Maine CDC released information about the two people reported Sunday to have died without correlating them by age, county or gender. They were a man and a woman from Cumberland County and York County, one in their 70s and the other 80 or older.

Restrictions on travel, businesses and public gatherings will loosen even further in May.

The comparatively open season has business owners feeling upbeat, though some health experts worry that the public will abandon precautions meant to contain the still-present virus.

“I really worry about April school vacation for us,” Dr. Meghan May, a microbiology and infectious disease professor at the University of New England, told the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. “People may feel like they’ve been trapped inside for so long, so they say, ‘Let’s go to Disney.’ ”

 

Much of Maine’s readiness for the summer season will depend on its ongoing drive to vaccinate the population. As of Sunday morning, 268,563 Mainers had received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 149,703 had received their second. Out of Maine’s population of 1.3 million, 19.98 percent have received their first dose, according to Maine CDC statistics.

A new, single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and about 15,000 doses were shipped to Maine last week. But no doses are headed here this week, state officials say.

County by county as of Sunday, there had been 4,896 coronavirus cases in Androscoggin, 1,295 in Aroostook, 12,857 in Cumberland, 917 in Franklin, 940 in Hancock, 3,743 in Kennebec, 669 in Knox, 594 in Lincoln, 2,273 in Oxford, 4,051 in Penobscot, 328 in Piscataquis, 894 in Sagadahoc, 1,265 in Somerset, 606 in Waldo, 726 in Washington and 9,733 in York.

By age, 15.5 percent of patients were under 20, while 18.1 percent were in their 20s, 14.4 percent were in their 30s, 13.2 percent were in their 40s, 15.2 percent were in their 50s, 11.6 percent were in their 60s, 6.5 percent were in their 70s, and 5.5 percent were 80 or older.

Of the 67 patients with COVID-19 in Maine hospitals on Sunday, 16 were in intensive care and eight were on ventilators. The state had 111 intensive care unit beds available of a total 387, and 246 ventilators available of 319. There were also 446 alternative ventilators.

Around the world on Sunday evening, there were 116.7 million known cases of COVID-19 and 2.59 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States had 28.9 million cases and 524,935 deaths.

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