Health and health care news

Southern Maine Health Care photos

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began in Maine on Tuesday. Frontline workers at Maine Medical Center in Portland and Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford were the first to receive doses. It’s the beginning of a massive effort to get the pandemic under control, and a bright spot for health care workers as the case and death count keeps climbing.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Six more people with COVID-19 have died and another 411 people have tested positive for the disease.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The first 2,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Maine Monday morning at Northern Light’s Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and Mercy Hospitals in Portland.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Vaccine preparations are underway at long-term care facilities across the country, where workers and the most at-risk residents are supposed to be the first to get the shots as early as next week.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

Maine’s campaign to vaccinate residents against the coronavirus is starting to make progress, but it will still be months before many lower-risk Mainers will be able to get the shots in the arm that are seen as critical to ending the still-worsening pandemic.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The Maine CDC added 303 cases of COVID-19 to the state's total on Sunday.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Seven more people have died with COVID-19 in Maine.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

The first shipments for a COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in Maine next week, and the Mills administration announced on Friday that it has submitted a request for a second allotment.

Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

Three months into this a year, the vast majority of Maine’s public schools have managed to reopen classrooms, and health officials say they remain relatively safe — but as COVID-19 case numbers rise in Maine, schools are now facing shortages of teachers and other staff.

Three counties in Maine continue to have “elevated risk” of COVID-19 spread, and two other counties are being closely watched, as part of the state’s risk assessment system for schools.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Maine Gov. Janet Mills is requiring business operators of all types to turn away customers who refuse to wear face masks.

Open enrollment for health insurance on the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace ends in just a few days, on Tuesday, Dec. 15.

The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed legislation co-authored by U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King of Maine, as well as Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska.

Maine’s entire congressional delegation has sent a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, urging his department to communicate with states and be transparent about the new vaccine.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

New cases of COVID-19 in Maine have again topped 400. The state CDC reported 407 new cases on Thursday.