A pedestrian walks on Congress Street in downtown Portland last month. On Tuesday, Maine reported a seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases that dropped below 100 for the first time since November. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Maine reported 39 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and saw its seven-day average of new cases drop below 100 for the first time since early November. There were no additional deaths.

The state has now gone six days in a row with no new deaths, the first such stretch since Oct. 18-30, a 12-day run of zero additional deaths from COVID-19.

The case counts reflect the Memorial Day weekend, and a better indication of where Maine is in the pandemic may come later in the week, when the results are not affected by a decline in testing over the holiday period.

“Our lab received fewer samples to process this past weekend, and outside labs have reported fewer results to us. This aligns with the pattern for recent weekends and holidays. We expect an increase in samples and results during the work week,” said Robert Long, spokesman for the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The seven-day average of daily new cases stood at 99.4, compared to 148.4 a week ago and 297.1 a month ago. During the pandemic’s peak in mid-January, case counts often topped 600 and during the height of the spring surge in mid-April, counts were above 400.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 67,819 positive tests for COVID-19, and 825 deaths.

Meanwhile, 716,958 people, or 53.34 percent of the state’s 1.3 million residents, have received at least the first dose of the vaccine, while 700,589, or 52.12 percent of the population, have gotten their final dose.

The state incentive program “Your Shot to Get Outdoors” – an attempt to boost immunization rates with free fishing and hunting licenses, L.L. Bean gift cards and other freebies – ended Monday with 5,248 participating in the program.

Of those who received an incentive, 2,225 picked an L.L. Bean gift card, followed by 1,311 fishing licenses, 531 passes to the Maine Wildlife Park, 468 Maine state park passes, 322 hunting licenses, 266 Sea Dogs tickets and 125 tickets to Oxford Plains Speedway.

Jeanne Lambrew, Maine’s health and human services commissioner, said last week during a briefing with reporters that the state will evaluate how well the incentive program performed and will decide whether to continue it, launch a different incentive program or discontinue incentives for vaccination.

As more people get their shots, the demand for immunization is waning in Maine and across the country. For the seven most recent days including Monday, Maine gave 21,719 shots, compared to 43,636 for the previous week, according to state statistics.

The state continues to pursue a strategy of reaching more young people with vaccinations, especially in rural areas. Of those 49 or younger, 47.9 percent have received at least the first dose, compared to 73.4 percent of those 50 and older.

Gone are mass vaccination clinics like Scarborough Downs and the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. In their place are smaller, more versatile clinics, including mobile clinics, with later hours and walk-in availability.

MaineHealth, the state’s largest health care provider, has partnered with Becky’s Diner on a pop-up vaccination clinic this week, offering the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Anyone who visits the landmark diner on Portland’s Commercial Street from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday can get a vaccine, as well as a $15 gift certificate to Becky’s. Other clinics will be planned at sites where younger people congregate, including breweries and concerts.

Another planned immunization clinic will be at the Portland House of Music, 25 Temple St. in Portland, on July 7 and July 12, 8-11 p.m. The clinic will be offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

There are currently 90 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine, including 30 in critical care. New COVID-19 hospitalizations have declined from an average daily admissions of 5.7 two weeks ago to 3.9 on Tuesday.

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