PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — One of the largest indoor venues in northern New England is going to start requiring visitors to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test.

Cumberland County officials said the new rules will go into effect Friday at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. The county said the rules will apply to attendees of events age 12 and over, and it added that mask use is also strongly recommended.

The arena is the home venue of the Maine Mariners minor league hockey team. It also sometimes hosts University of Maine Black Bears hockey, as well as concerts and other large events.

The county said in a statement that the new rules “will remain in place until further notice, but are likely to change based on the severity of the pandemic in Cumberland County and as vaccination becomes available for more age groups.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that transmission of COVID-19 is high in Cumberland County and that means indoor mask use is recommended. That’s also true of the rest of the state of Maine.

In other pandemic news:


The number of new daily cases of the virus in Maine lessened slightly in the first half of October.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 591.57 on Sept. 30 to 568.60 on Oct. 14. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from 2.14 on Sept. 30 to 3.29 on Oct. 14.

The AP is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the United States.

Maine health officials said there have been more than 97,000 positive cases of the virus in the state since the start of the pandemic. There have also been 1,095 deaths.

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