- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 2, 2020

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Gov. Janet Mills said Wednesday the number of doses of the new coronavirus vaccine that the state could receive later this month is disappointingly low.

Mills, a Democrat, said the state is slated to get about 12,600 doses of a vaccine by the middle of December. The vaccine requires two doses, which means the shipment could allow the state to vaccinate some 6,300 people.

The people at the front of the line for the new vaccine would be health care workers. Mills called the number of doses “far less than what is needed.” She said the state hoped for closer to 36,000 doses in the initial shipment.

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Nirav Shah has said the number of vaccine doses the federal government could ship to Maine is a preliminary number that could change.

In other Maine virus news:



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GOVERNOR QUARANTINING

Mills said her case of exposure to the coronavirus is more evidence that no one is immune to the disruptions the virus can cause.

Mills is quarantining in the Blaine House - the governor’s official residence in Augusta - after being exposed to a case of COVID-19. Mills said Tuesday she was potentially exposed via a member of her security detail.

The governor said Wednesday the person has tested positive for the virus.

Mills said that she has no symptoms, and that she and the security detail member wore masks and were keeping their distance from each other when the potential exposure occurred. However, she said she’s still observing safety protocols.

“I’m still taking the same steps that Maine people have taken to keep others safe. Quarantining and taking a test,” Mills said in a video she posted on social media.

Maine Republican Party Chair Demi Kouzounas said Mills should “immediately provide additional information so the public can understand who may be impacted and if proper protocols were taken.” Mills said she will be working away from the governor’s office and will keep the state informed of any change in her status.

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NEW CASES

The latest average positivity rate in Maine is 2.44%. State health departments are calculating positivity rate differently across the country, but for Maine the AP calculates the rate by dividing new cases by test specimens using data from The COVID Tracking Project.

The seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from 2.15% on Nov. 17 to 2.44% on Dec. 1.

Public health authorities in Maine have reported more than 12,200 cases of the coronavirus and 218 deaths.

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PROTECTIVE GEAR

Maine is set to receive more than $3.3 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help with the costs of personal protective equipment.

FEMA officials said the grant is coming to the state as reimbursement for items including disposable non-sterile isolation gowns and disposable isolation units. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention distributed the items in response to emergency needs in the state.

The Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services also distributed the items to essential state employees.

Maine and the rest of the country have been grappling with a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks.

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