Maine CDC reports 247 COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday reported 247 cases of COVID-19 and no additional deaths, as the state’s vaccination drive speeds forward toward 60 percent of eligible residents having received a first dose.

As of Sunday, 58.18 percent of Maine’s eligible 16-plus population had received at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, nearing levels needed to tamp down the virus. That comes despite warnings that nationwide 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 day’s cases, 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 is open Sunday at Waterville’s LaFleur Airport, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Adults 18 and over may receive a dose of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 1-888-445-4111.

The Waterville clinic will remain open through Wednesday. During the week, a vaccination site is also 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 homebuying 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.”

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.

State Sen. Jim Dill, D-Old Town, has even sponsored legislation to put a moratorium on revaluation, though that 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.

Around the world on Sunday, there were 157.7 million known cases of COVID-19 and 3.28 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States had 32.6 million cases and more than 581,000 deaths.

This story will be updated.

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