Maine CDC reports 247 COVID-19 cases, many of them young people

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May 9—The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday reported 247 new cases of COVID-19 and no additional deaths, as the state's vaccination drive approaches 60 percent of eligible residents having received a first dose.

As of Sunday, 58.18 percent of Maine's eligible 16-and-older population had received at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, nearing levels needed to tamp down the coronavirus. That comes despite warnings that the U.S. may not reach full herd immunity, the proportion of immune people in a population needed to suppress an infection.

People under 30 accounted for 113 of the new cases reported Sunday in Maine, or nearly 46 percent.

Maine's cumulative COVID-19 cases rose to 63,994 on Sunday. Of those, 47,359 have been confirmed by testing and 16,635 are considered probable cases of COVID-19. The seven-day average of new daily cases was 301.2 on Sunday.

Seven hundred ninety-five people have died with COVID-19 since the pandemic began in Maine.

A mobile vaccination clinic was open Sunday at Waterville's Robert LaFleur Airport, where adults 18 and over were able to receive a dose of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The clinic will also provide vaccinations Monday through Wednesday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 1-888-445-4111.

During the week, a vaccination site will also be open in downtown Lewiston's Oak Street parking area, Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, said on Twitter.

For more vaccination sites, visit the Maine CDC's website.

Meanwhile, a pandemic-fueled spree of home-buying in Maine is threatening to push property taxes higher for residents already strained by the past year's economic downturn. Maine has become an even more desirable place for people escaping cities during the pandemic, which is driving up market-based tax assessments.

In South Portland, homeowner Diane Romano recently told the City Council that she was considering selling blood plasma to cover an anticipated 10 to 30 percent property tax increase forecast by the city.

"I'm seriously considering that option," Romano said after a City Council meeting in April. "It can't be the long-term solution, but until we know how bad it's going to be, that's on the table."

Heads up for folks in the Waterville area. The mobile vaccination unit is rolling into town and will be open Sunday. https://t.co/JiIaY4z6Ty

— Nirav D. Shah (@nirav_mainecdc) May 8, 2021

In the past year, the median home price in Maine increased 14 percent, to $256,000, amid a 9 percent increase in single-family home sales. One-third of those sales were to out-of-state buyers.

Both Portland and South Portland put revaluations on hold because of the pandemic, but home values in both cities have dipped below 70 percent of market value. In South Portland last month, residents pleaded with city councilors not to revalue their homes during what the residents argued was a temporary bubble, driven by the pandemic.

Sen. Jim Dill, D-Old Town, has even sponsored legislation to put a moratorium on revaluations in Maine, though the bill stalled in committee. City officials such as Kate Snyder, Portland's mayor, have argued against a moratorium, instead proposing more frequent revaluations so that residents aren't shocked by one huge increase to their tax bills.

Neither Portland nor South Portland has updated property values citywide in 15 years.

As of Sunday, 654,555 Mainers had received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 583,936 had received their final dose. Out of Maine's population of 1.3 million, 48.69 percent have received their first dose, according to Maine CDC statistics.

County by county as of Sunday, there had been 7,712 coronavirus cases in Androscoggin, 1,725 in Aroostook, 16,576 in Cumberland, 1,267 in Franklin, 1,259 in Hancock, 5,975 in Kennebec, 1,056 in Knox, 962 in Lincoln, 3,385 in Oxford, 5,613 in Penobscot, 481 in Piscataquis, 1,342 in Sagadahoc, 2,013 in Somerset, 896 in Waldo, 846 in Washington and 12,875 in York.

By age, 18.3 percent of patients were under 20, while 18.6 percent were in their 20s, 14.8 percent were in their 30s, 13.4 percent were in their 40s, 14.7 percent were in their 50s, 10.5 percent were in their 60s, 5.4 percent were in their 70s, and 4.4 percent were 80 or older.

Maine hospitals on Sunday had 134 patients with COVID-19, of whom 53 were in intensive care and 24 were on ventilators. The state had 75 intensive care unit beds available of a total 380, and 237 ventilators available of 319. There were also 451 alternative ventilators.

Around the world on Sunday evening, there were 157.9 million known cases of COVID-19 and 3.28 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States had 32.7 million cases and 581,741 deaths.

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