MAINE NEWS: The Maine Center for Disease Control today is reporting 386 new coronavirus cases in the state and five more deaths. Cases have been climbing in Maine since mid-October, and especially since the holidays. In the past month, Aroostook County has reported nearly 700 new cases and 30 deaths. The University of Maine System is beginning its spring semester and will require weekly COVID-19 testing for all on-campus students and employees.

VACCINE UPDATE: Starting this week Mainers age 70 and older can get vaccinated for COVID-19, provided there is sufficient supply. The Maine CDC says for people covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most commercial insurance plans, the vaccine will be covered by insurance with no out-of-pocket cost. For uninsured people, any administrative fees will be paid for by the federal Provider Relief Fund. So far, over 67,000 Mainers have received their first dose of the vaccine. About 12,000 people have received their second dose to be fully vaccinated.

NEW BRUNSWICK UPDATE: New Brunswick Public Health reported 26 new cases of COVID-19 Monday. The number of active cases in the province has climbed to over 300 for the first time. Only one person is hospitalized. Zone 4 (the Edmundston region) remains at the Red level under the province’s COVID recovery plan. All other zones are at the Orange level. A positive case has been confirmed at Sacred Heart Elementary School in Grand Falls. Officials say the school will close to students for three days to allow for contact tracing and testing of school staff. Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health said, “We cannot keep COVID-19 out completely, so we must do absolutely everything we can to prevent it from spreading within our province.”

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