Maine Group To Hold Forum About How To Help Unvaccinated

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Maine organization has scheduled an event designed to help residents talk to their family members and neighbors about the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Maine Community Action Partnership has slated the “Encouraging Vaccination" online event for Thursday at 6 p.m. Participants in the event will include Todd Phillips, an infection preventionist at Millinocket Regional Hospital; Elisabeth Marnik, a professor of molecular biochemistry at Husson University; and Dr. Gavin Ducker, co-president of the system medical group at Northern Light Health.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said the event will be about strategies for communicating accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines with unvaccinated people.

It's important to spread the message that vaccines protect everyone in the community, Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said.

“And if enough people get vaccinated, even if the virus finds its way into a community, it's really hard for it to spread onto people who haven't been vaccinated,” Shah said.

In other pandemic news in Maine:

THE NUMBERS

Cases of the virus continued to rise in Maine.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from 348.86 new cases per day on Sept. 11 to 468.86 new cases per day on Sept. 25. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from 3.00 deaths per day on Sept. 11 to 4.14 deaths per day on Sept. 25.

The AP is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the United States.

Maine CDC said there have been 1,014 deaths from coronavirus in the state since the start of the pandemic. There have also been more than 87,000 positive cases of the virus.

Close to three quarters of the state's eligible population is fully vaccinated against coronavirus.

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CHILD CARE FUNDING

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services said Monday it is going to distribute $73 million in federal money to child care providers to help pay for staff and costs related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The health department said providers who receive the grants must use some of the money to pay $200 per month bonuses to staff who care directly for children, the department said.

Money can also be used for costs such as rent, utilities, reducing fees for families and loss of revenue, the health department said.

“Maine’s child care providers have been crucial to providing a safe place for kids to learn and grow while allowing their parents to go to work and contribute to our economic recovery,” Democratic Gov. Janet Mills said in a statement.