AROOSTOOK COUNTY UPDATE: Beginning Wednesday, March 17, Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle will allow visitors on a limited basis. President Greg LaFrancois said, “Now that our residents and staff are vaccinated, we feel confident they will be safe with visitors." Of course they must follow all CDC guidelines. Patients in the hospital’s medical/surgical, acute rehab and specialty intensive care units will now be able to have one visitor a day, age 16 or older. Visiting hours will be from 2 – 4 pm on weekdays and 10 – noon on weekends. For the Women and Children’s Unit at AR Gould, the policy remains unchanged. Patients in the Emergency Department can now also have a support person accompany them while they are receiving care.

Northern Light Continuing Care in Mars Hill is also reopening for inside visits beginning today. Residents may have one visitor, or two from the same household, for a 20-minute visit. Just like at the hospital, visitors must be at least 16 years old, pass a screening, and follow all safety guidelines.

MAINE UPDATE: The Maine Center for Disease Control today is reporting 203 new coronavirus cases and no additional deaths. A growing number of cases in Piscataquis County is of special concern to the Maine CDC. Dr. Nirav Shah said, “The range of those cases goes from individuals as young as nine all the way up to 85.”  The overall case count In Piscataquis County has nearly doubled in the last month. The community transmission has been found to have spread in restaurants and apartment complexes. Dr. Shah says this  emphasizes the importance of following safety guidelines.

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NEW BRUNSWICK UPDATE: New Brunswick Public Health reported five new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. Active cases in the province are up to 41. A positive case has been confirmed at École Notre-Dame in Edmundston. Students and staff stayed home Tuesday to allow for contact tracing and school sanitization protocols to be carried out. A case of COVID-19 in the Edmundston region has been identified as a presumptive case of a variant. A sample will be sent to the National Microbiology Lab for confirmation.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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