Maine Seeing a Syndemic & Employers Could Possibly Mandate Vaccines
The Latest in COVID-19 Cases and Deaths for Maine
According to the Maine CDC's Thursday update, the cumulative number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Maine is now at 58,868 an increase of 403 since Wednesday. 44,048 of those cases are confirmed while 14,820 are deemed probable.
There was one new death reported of an individual with COVID-19 bringing the total number of deaths at 769. 1,800 patients have had to be hospitalized at some point. 119 are currently hospitalized with 48 in intensive care and 18 are on a ventilator.
The Latest Vaccination Numbers
587,037 Mainers age 16 and older have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 453,823 are fully vaccinated. That equates to approximately 40.34% of Mainers 16 and older that are fully vaccinated and 52.18% that have received the first of two doses of the vaccine. Over 1 million doses in total have been given to Mainers
Breaking Down the Numbers
Can Mainers Be Fired For Not Vaccinating?
The answer to this question is very much in the grey due to a number of reasons. One being that Maine is an "at-will" state so technically anyone can be fired for any reason as long as it's not discrimination. Another being that the COVID-19 vaccine is still under an "Emergency Use" status. News Center Maine dug into the issue without finding concrete answers. Experts point to employers having the right to protect their employers in the ways in which they choose. Read the full story here.
What is a Syndemic?
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah explained that a syndemic is when 2 parallel occurring epidemics happen at the same time. According to WMTW, 30 of the recent COVID-19 cases in Maine are the more transmissible strain that originated out of the UK and three of the South African variant, and one from Brazil.
State of Emergency Status
Governor Mills has extended the State of Emergency in Maine through May 13, allowing Maine to continue to receive federal funding and use available resources to respond to COVID-19.
On March 5, Governor Mills announced a plan to allow businesses to increase their capacity and removed restrictions on those traveling to and from Maine. All New England states no longer need to show proof of a negative COVID test or quarantine for 14 days when arriving in Maine.
Here's the timeline for relaxing restrictions on number or people allowed in businesses:
- For indoor gatherings, the percentage of capacity increased to 50 percent on March 26 and will increase to 75 percent May 24.
- For outdoor gatherings, the percentage of capacity increased to 75 percent March 26 and will increase to full capacity starting May 24.
- Those businesses that have more capacity under the current policy (50 people for indoor gatherings; 100 people for outdoor gatherings; or 5 people per 1,000 square feet) are permitted to maintain that standard until May 24.
If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, including a runny nose, sore throat, dry cough, fever and in severe cases, difficulty breathing, the Maine CDC says you should call your doctor before going in so that they can prepare for your arrival. The Maine CDC continues to update with new information daily. Keep checking on our mobile app or website to get the latest.