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Town halls, libraries allow more visitors; Daily cases rise

April 19, 2021 GMT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — More people will be allowed in public buildings such as town halls and libraries in Maine in the coming weeks.

The state has limited attendance at public buildings to 50% of permitted occupancy or 50 people, whichever is greater. The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development said that will rise to 75% of permitted occupancy or 50 people, whichever is greater, on May 24.

The state said the rules also apply to county offices, community buildings and other public spaces. The rules are similar to occupancy restrictions for private businesses.

“Although vaccinations have begun, COVID-19 remains a serious public health threat and Maine people should continue to heed all health and safety protocols, including wearing masks, practicing physical distancing, and avoiding large gatherings,” said Kate Foye, a spokesperson for the department.

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Town halls and city halls across Maine have altered opening hours and made other changes to accommodate residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

In other pandemic news in Maine:

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THE NUMBERS

The average number of daily new cases of coronavirus in Maine has increased by more than 200 over the course of the past two weeks.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from 273.57 new cases per day on April 3 to 475.00 new cases per day on April 17. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from 1.29 deaths per day on April 3 to 2.14 deaths per day on April 17.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 767 deaths from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. The agency has also reported more than 57,000 cases of the virus.

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QUARANTINE POLICY

The University of Maine System announced on Monday that fully vaccinated, asymptomatic people will be exempted from quarantine requirements if they come into close contact with someone known to have COVID-19.

The system said it will consider people fully vaccinated two weeks after their final coronavirus shot.

“We are adding one more reason to the list of why it is smart to protect yourself, your family, and our community through vaccination,” system Chancellor Dannel Malloy said.