Coronavirus Update: Aroostook County, Maine & New Brunswick
NEW BRUNSWICK UPDATE: New Brunswick Public health has announced a Red level circuit breaker for a section of Zone 4, including Edmundston and the upper Madawaska region, due to a COVID-19 outbreak. The area will remain in the Red level for at least four days. Mass testing for asymptomatic people continues today to help determine how widespread the outbreak is. Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health said, “Depending on our findings, this measure could be extended for a longer period of time and it may need to be expanded to cover the rest of Zone 4.” Other areas of northwestern New Brunswick including Grand Falls, Kedgwick, Saint-Quentin, and Saint-Léonard, will remain in the Yellow level for now. Public Health reported 30 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday. Two-thirds of the province's 89 active cases are in the Edmundston area.
MAINE UPDATE: Friday's report from the Maine Center for Disease Control shows 253 new coronavirus cases and no deaths in the state. Aroostook County has four more confirmed cases.
A bill that aims to eliminate barriers to COVID screening, testing and immunization is now law in Maine. House Speaker Ryan Fecteau said that the law makes sure "cost is not a barrier to any Mainer in our fight against COVID-19.” Meanwhile, a Maine bank announced it will give employees $500 for getting a coronavirus vaccine. Bangor Savings Bank is the first Maine business to publicly offer cash for getting vaccinated. The bank isn't requiring its 1,100-plus employees to have shots but it hopes the money will be an additional incentive.
Meanwhile, the director of the Maine CDC, Dr. Nirav Shah, says the state will be getting more than 45,000 first doses of coronavirus vaccine next week.