A masked pedestrian walks on Congress Street on Thursday morning. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Maine’s COVID-19 vaccination effort is venturing to popular places where people spend leisure time in the summer – such as a Sea Dogs baseball game, Old Orchard Beach, concerts and breweries.

The Sea Dogs, through a partnership with Northern Light Mercy Hospital, will offer the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine from 5-7 p.m. during their June 10 game at Hadlock Field. Anyone who gets a shot will receive a voucher for a hot dog, water and a Sea Dog biscuit, and a free ticket to a future game.

There could be other times this summer when people can get a shot, see the game and collect perks.

“While we don’t have formal plans in place for additional clinics at Hadlock Field, we look forward to seeing how this one goes and exploring future opportunities,” said Ed Gilman, a Northern Light spokesman.

Meanwhile, Maine’s mobile vaccination unit – which also gives J&J shots – will include stops at Rising Tide Brewing on Fox Street from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 10, through Sunday, June 13. The unit then will go to Old Orchard Beach from June 15-18. Also, the Portland House of Music will host a vaccine clinic at its live concert venue from 8-11 p.m. on July 7 and July 12.

“We are swinging the mobile unit over to Portland and Old Orchard Beach, and one of the reasons we are doing so is to offer hospitality workers another shot to get a shot,” Dr. Nirav Shah, the director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an appearance on Maine Public’s “Maine Calling” radio show Thursday.


Maine reported 106 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 additional deaths on Thursday.

The deaths resulted from a periodic review of recent death certificates by the Maine CDC. The agency said seven of the 10 deaths occurred between May 2 and May 23. One of the deaths was a person under 20 who had “other possible medical factors” besides COVID-19 that may have contributed to their death, said Robert Long, Maine CDC spokesman.

“This is the first reported COVID-related death of a person younger than 20 in Maine,” Long said.

The other nine deaths include three people in their 60s, two in their 70s and four in their 80s.

Since the pandemic began, Maine has logged 67,986 cases of COVID-19 and 837 deaths.

Case counts on Thursday exceeded 100 for the first time in five days, but the overall trend continues to be lower numbers. The seven-day average of daily new cases was 83.4 on Thursday, compared to 127.7 a week ago and 306.6 a month ago. At the pandemic’s peak in mid-January, new cases often exceeded 600 a day, and cases were higher than 400 a day during the height of the spring surge in mid-April.


The percent of COVID-19 tests that are being returned positive also has declined, another sign pandemic conditions are improving. The positivity rate in two weeks – one incubation period – has plummeted from 2.07 percent on May 20 to 1.68 percent on Thursday. When lower percentages of tests come back positive that means most cases of the disease are being discovered, giving public health workers better opportunities to prevent further transmission of the disease by isolating those who are sick and notifying close contacts, in addition to encouraging vaccination.

There were 79 people hospitalized in Maine with COVID-19 on Thursday, including 27 in critical care beds. Those numbers continue a slow but steady decline since a surge in late April.

COVID-19 has eased considerably in Maine since then as vaccines block transmission of the virus. The pandemic is not over, but conditions are improving substantially, Shah said on “Maine Calling.”

“The light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter every single day, but we are still in a tunnel,” he said.

Through Thursday, 719,354 people in Maine, representing 53.5 percent of the state’s 1.3 million residents, had received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Also, 707,625 people, or 52.6 percent of the population, had received their final dose.

The state’s vaccination strategy has changed from mass vaccination sites to smaller clinics targeting populations that might have needed a more convenient means to get a shot. On Wednesday and Thursday, Becky’s Diner hosted a walk-in clinic, offering the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Everyone who received a shot was given a $15 gift card to Becky’s Diner.

The emphasis has shifted – now that demand has dropped off – from how many people can get vaccinated at a location to what populations are gaining access to the vaccine, said Dr. Dora Anne Mills, chief health improvement officer for MaineHealth and one of the vaccinators at Becky’s Diner on Wednesday.

Mills said all types of people are getting vaccinated at pop-up clinics, such as younger people who may have been less fearful of contracting COVID-19, those who were previously hesitant about the vaccines, and people who are busy and had a difficult time scheduling an appointment.

“It’s not about the numbers as much anymore,” Mills said on Wednesday. “Every person we vaccinate is a potential chain of transmission we cut off.”

Related Headlines

Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: