Coronavirus in Maine at the onset of high tourist season

As the coronavirus spreads across the southern and western United States — a topic I’ll have more to say about tomorrow — Mainers are simultaneously kicking off their summer tourist season, lifting Covid-19 restrictions, and hoping the state can keep the prevalence of the disease low, where it has been for much of the pandemic owing to low population density and an effective lockdown.

Two updates on how things are playing out here:

First, in today’s Portland Press Herald: there’s been a recent quadrupling in the pace of new non-resident cases here, though starting from a low level. With concerns about contact tracing of such individuals — theoretically performed by public health departments in their native state or county — one Maine community has created their own testing regimen for servers, cashiers, clerks and other front-line tourism workers.

Also in today’s paper, your exclusive weekly update on covid hosptializations in the state, by hospital.  Good news: another fairly quiet week, though with upticks at some of the state’s largest hospitals.