Health and health care news

After months of criticism from its retired employees, the University of Maine System says that it will allow retirees the option to maintain their current health care plan, rather than transition to a private insurance exchange.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Maine has exceeded 11,000.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

A few weeks ago, Maine began to see record numbers of COVID-19 cases. Now, it’s seeing a record number of hospitalizations.

The Maine Department of Education has recruited more than 20 retired nurses to assist the state with contact tracing as COVID-19 cases surge.

Maine colleges have tested thousands of students in recent days in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday months.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The Maine CDC has reported 12 deaths related to COVID-19 on Tuesday — more than twice the prior single day record of five, set on April 23 and matched on June 2.

Luca Bruno / Associated Press

A proposed new rule from the Maine CDC that would require health care workers to get a seasonal flu shot, drew some opposition at a public hearing on Monday. Opponents question the efficacy and safety of the vaccine, while others say it would impinge on personal freedoms.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The Maine CDC announced on Monday that new cases of COVID-19 are outpacing the state’s ability to contact trace.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The Maine CDC is reporting an increase of 239 COVID-19 cases in the state on Sunday.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Maine has exceeded 10,000 cumulative cases of COVID-19.

Due to a rising positivity rate for COVID-19, York County has once again been designated “yellow” under the state’s color-coded risk assessment system, to guide schools during the pandemic.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Maine’s positivity rate for COVID-19 is now just under 3 percent, nearly six times higher than it was just a month ago. And hospitalizations have reached a record high, with 90 people receiving inpatient care.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The family of a former resident of the Maplecrest Rehabilitation Facility in Madison, who died after contracting COVID-19, has filed a civil claim alleging negligence on the part of the Big Moose Inn, which hosted a wedding reception that public health officials believe led to the spread of hundreds of cases of the virus and several deaths.

John Minchillo / Associated Press

Starting on Friday, 52 new rapid COVID-19 testing sites will open at Walgreens pharmacies across the state, and another three will come online next week.

Retired University of Maine system employees filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday over the system’s proposed changes to health benefits, and in response the system announced that it will “pause” to speak with representatives and address their concerns.