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Maine: Airport clinic to drive up shot use; cases still low

July 16, 2021 GMT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine health officials are hopeful a new COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the largest airport in the state will help drive up immunization rates.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services is working with Portland International Jetport on the new clinic, which will be open to travelers and residents. The clinic, which does not require appointments, began Tuesday and is operating seven days a week.

Maine has one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the country. More than two-thirds of the state’s eligible population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The addition of the airport clinic is “another way to ensure that Maine is one of the safest places to be this summer,” said Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew.

The clinic will use the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine for coronavirus, state officials said. It will be open to anyone age 18 or older and it will be free, officials said.

In other pandemic news in Maine:

THE NUMBERS

Daily new cases of the virus in Maine remained low.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from 23.71 new cases a day on June 30 to 26 new cases per day on Wednesday. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from 0.43 deaths a day on June 30 to 2.29 deaths a day Wednesday.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday that 878 people in the state have died of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. There have also been more than 69,000 positive cases of the virus in the state.

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MASK REQUIREMENTS

State employees will no longer be required to wear masks after July 26 as long as they provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

State employees are the last major entity in the state that requires masking, the Bangor Daily News reported.

The rate of vaccination among state employees appears to be a little higher than the public at large in Maine, the Daily News reported.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.