On the 1-year anniversary of the first diagnosed case of COVID-19 in the state, the Maine CDC reports 194 new cases of the virus. More than two More than two dozen vaccination clinics will soon be open across the state, dedicated to school staff and teachers, as well as residents 60 and older. Northern Light has appointments available to this group, and school districts are notifying staff members about other clinics in their communities.

Police spent Thursday near the Clinton/Skowhegan line, involved in a standoff with an armed man who was wanted on felony theft and burglary charges. 40-year-old Joshua Eliot led police on a high-speed chase across Kennebec and Somerset counties, before barricading himself in his car with what was first thought to be a handgun, but turned out to be a pellet gun. After several hours, Eliot surrendered to police.

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition, started by concerned RSU 22 parents in Hampden, that was delivered to the Governor, the Maine Education Commissioner, and the Maine CDC. The petition demands a relaxation of the social distancing guidelines so students can return to school full-time. The Maine Department of Education responded to the petition, saying its framework is based on recommendations from the U.S. CDC.

About 130 members of the Maine National Guard have been deployed to Africa, to help provide security. A virtual deployment ceremony was held on Wednesday for the unit that's normally based in Brewer. The soldiers have been preparing for more than a year for this mission which is expected to last as much as 12 months.

The Good Shepherd Food Bank is once again taking applications for the Community Redistribution Fund, which provides culturally important food to those in need. Applications must be submitted by march 31st on the organization's website.

Bangor's Unitarian Universalist Church will hold its Second Sunday Community Food Drive on March 14th. Residents are encouraged to donate at drive-by drop boxes, between noon and 12:30 on that day, and enjoy a 30-minute bell-chime concert from the church's historical bell tower. People donating in their vehicles, or standing outside enjoying the concert are asked to wear face coverings for everyone's safety.

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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