Maine reported 259 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, and three additional deaths.
The 259 new cases follows 189 cases reported on Sunday and 324 on Saturday. Daily cases have not spiked to more than 800 in one day since Jan. 15.
The seven-day daily average of new cases has plummeted from 562.3 a week ago to 452.8 on Monday. A month ago, the seven-day average was 458.6. The peak – so far- during the pandemic was 624 on Jan. 15.
Overall, there have been 37,046 cases of COVID-19 in Maine, and 547 deaths.
Meanwhile, the vaccine rollout continues, although at a much slower pace than public health officials were hoping for, as production of the vaccine has yet to ramp up. Maine is receiving about 18,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine per week. The state’s 70-and-older population, which Maine began immunizing last week, is 193,000.
Through Monday, Maine had given 110,332 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including 87,292 first doses and 23,040 second doses.
Northern Light Health – the parent company of Mercy Hospital in Portland and Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, among others, on Monday announced a new hotline to call for vaccine appointments, 204-8551, for those 70 and older. To schedule an appointment online, go to www.covidnorthernlighthealth.org/publicvaccine starting at 2 p.m. today.
MaineHealth, the parent company of Maine Medical Center in Portland and a large network of health care systems, has set up a number to call for appointments at 877-780-7545. For more information on all health care providers where a patient can make an appointment, go to www.maine.gov/covid19/vaccines/vaccination-sites.
For now, health care providers are acknowledging that it may be difficult to make an appointment because of the limited supply of vaccine.
Dr. Dora Anne Mills, chief health improvement officer at MaineHealth, said in a Facebook post Monday morning that “there is very little vaccine in Maine or anywhere, compared with the numbers of those who need it.”
“Vaccine is our ticket to more normalcy (likely a “new normal”). It is our ticket to eventually celebrating holidays together, hugging our loved ones, and our children returning to school full-time,” Mills wrote. “In the meantime, vaccine provides us an additional and critical layer of safety, to be added to other safety layers, like masking, distancing, hand hygiene, not gathering and ventilation.”
On Sunday, Maine Sens. Susan Collins, a Republican, and independent Angus King participated in a call between a group of moderate senators and a White House official to discuss the Biden administration’s proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, which includes many measures, such as vaccine distribution funding and $1,400 checks to families.
Collins said in a statement on Sunday that she believes the scope of the package should be narrowed.
“While I support prompt additional funding for vaccine production, distribution, and vaccinators, and for testing, it seems premature to be considering a package of this size and scope,” Collins said in a statement.
This story will be updated.