Rahaf Hlail 12, of Portland anxiously waits to receive a COVID-19 vaccination from Registered Nurse Peggy Akers during a clinic and basketball tournament at Kennedy Park in Portland on Sunday. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Maine reported 30 cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the lowest number of daily new cases since Oct. 20 other than when the state testing labs were closed for holidays. There were no additional deaths.

The seven-day daily average of new cases slipped to 69.7 on Monday, compared to 98.7 a week ago and 307.7 a month ago. All counties reported single digit or zero cases on Monday, with Cumberland County, the state’s most populous, logging the most at eight cases. Six counties – Androscoggin, Aroostook, Franklin, Hancock, Knox and Piscataquis – reported no new cases.

During the pandemic’s peak in mid-January, Maine was often reporting more than 600 cases per day, and more than 400 per day during the height of the spring surge in April.

Reporting of cases often lags over weekends, because people are less likely to get tested then, and some private labs don’t send test results to the state lab on weekends. But even taking into account a weekend lag, Monday’s case numbers were low as more people in Maine get immunized.

Since the pandemic began, Maine has reported 68,262 cases of COVID-19, and 839 deaths. Hospitalizations also have plummeted, with 58 people in Maine currently hospitalized for COVID-19, 26 of them in critical care. A week ago 96 were hospitalized, and in mid-January Maine hospitals typically cared for about 200 COVID-19 patients per day. The last time hospitalizations were lower than Monday was on Nov. 11, when 49 people were in the hospital for the virus.

On the vaccine front, 724,806 people, or 53.9 percent of the state’s 1.3 million residents, have received at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Also, 720,438, or 53.6 percent, have received their final dose.

Maine is trying to reach younger populations by hosting clinics in areas where younger people may congregate, such as concerts, breweries and at a youth basketball tournament in Portland on Sunday.

Peggy Akers, one of the nurses distributing shots near the basketball courts on Sunday, said she recently worked clinics on several Maine islands.

“It’s a real gift, being able to do this,” she said. “I feel like I’m injecting hope into people’s arms.”

The state’s mobile vaccination unit – a partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency – will be giving the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine at Rising Tide Brewing in Portland from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

Asked Monday about how some younger people haven’t been eager to get vaccinated, Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said progress is being made even if it’s harder to measure each day.

Even though daily doses have slowed to a few thousand recently, that’s still a few thousand more than the previous day, he said. Maine has given about 26,000 doses during the past week, compared to 35,500 the previous week.

Cumulatively, more than 22,000 12- to 15-year-olds and nearly 30,000 16- to 19-year-olds had gotten at least one shot as of Monday.

“Percentage wise, I think we’ve got a little ways to go,” he said. “The thing with kiddos is that, as they are out and about – which we want them to be – every kid we vaccinate is a potential chain of transmission we’ve averted.”

In a Facebook post over the weekend, Dr. Dora Anne Mills, chief health improvement officer for MaineHealth, which has operated numerous vaccine clinics throughout the state, reflected on more than a year of fighting the virus. She wrote that there are many “heroes” who helped with the state’s response to the virus and getting people immunized as quickly as possible.

“We are inspired. A fire is ignited. Our journeys have given us the taste of an elixir,” Mills wrote. “We are all heroes.”

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