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Maine Detects First Case Of Coronavirus Variant Originally Discovered In Brazil

Robert F. Bukaty
Associated Press
Will Foster, a worker at the L.L. Bean flagship retail store, adjusts display clothing on a mannequin, Thursday, March 18, 2021, in Freeport, Maine.

The first case of a coronavirus variant originally discovered in Brazil has now been detected in Maine.

The P1 variant was found in a person from Franklin County who did not have any recent history of travel, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Scientists have expressed concern that mutations in the P1 variant and other variants may allow it to spread more easily.

Maine CDC has been sequencing the genomes of some positive coronavirus test results to determine what variants are spreading here.

It has found 19 other cases of the variants that were first discovered in the UK and South Africa.

The Maine CDC also reported another 253 new COVID-19 cases this morning — the highest number of daily cases since early February.

The state’s death toll remains at 731.

More than 640,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Maine, with another 45,200 on the way this week, according to the Maine CDC. That includes approximately 6,500 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which doesn’t require special cold storage and can be better suited for rural and homebound Mainers.

The Maine CDC’s next briefing on the pandemic is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday. Maine Public will bring that to you live.