PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The City Council in Maine’s largest city has decided to continue a pandemic rule to allow outdoor dining and retail to remain in place until at least the fall.

Portland is looking to end a local emergency declaration about the pandemic on July 29. That would also end additional powers given to the city manager that can restrict public gatherings.

However, street closures that allow businesses to expand outdoor dining and retail options will continue until November, the Portland Press Herald reported. The council voted on Monday that a designation allowing restaurants to operate on public ways without additional fees will continue until Nov. 1.

A statewide emergency declaration about the pandemic ended in June.

In other pandemic news in Maine:

THE NUMBERS

Maine has had a lower burden of coronavirus cases than many other states, though cases have increased somewhat in recent days.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from 14.14 new cases per day on July 5 to 48.86 new cases per day on July 19. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from 0.29 deaths per day on July 5 to 2.86 deaths per day on July 19.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Wednesday that there have been more than 69,000 positive cases of the virus in the state since the start of the pandemic. There have also been 887 deaths.

About 68% of the state’s eligible population is fully vaccinated against coronavirus.

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