Lobsterman Curt Brown helps stack unwanted traps on the Portland Fish Pier during a gear grab event on Tuesday. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Today is Friday. Temperatures will be in the low 50s to mid-30s from north to south, with partly sunny skies in the north and rain and snow to the south as a nor’easter arrives in New England. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

Here’s the latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Another Mainer has died and 579 more coronavirus cases were reported across the state on Thursday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It was the third straight day when cases surpassed 500. The statewide death toll now stands at 758. Check out our COVID-19 Tracker for more information.

Four inmates have tested positive at the Penobscot County Jail, a little more than two weeks after state health officials declared a previous virus outbreak at the Bangor facility over.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Maine are relatively stable. But emergency departments are seeing a change in the type of patients with the disease: they’re younger.

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits tumbled last week to 576,000, a post-COVID low and a hopeful sign that layoffs are easing as the economy recovers from the pandemic recession.

No-appointment COVID-19 vaccines could soon be offered in Maine

Quynh Tran, a clinical pharmacist from The Public Health Commission Corps, prepares a vial of Moderna vaccine on Tuesday at a mobile vaccination unit currently stationed at the Oxford Casino in Oxford. Credit: Andree Kehn / Sun Journal via AP

Appointments have been the only guaranteed way to get a shot in Maine so far, as supply has remained constrained despite increasing availability in recent weeks. Maine is in the “very preliminary” stage of exploring walk-up vaccine appointments, a process that would likely be shaped by the future of one-shot vaccines and providers’ flexibility.

In Bangor for your vaccine this weekend? Here’s what to do after you get your shot.

A sign sits on the sidewalk outside of Umami Noodle Bar in downtown Bangor letting customers know it is open for dining in. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Here are our suggestions for lunch, shopping, beers, sightseeing and other stuff to do when you’re in the Queen City for the day. While still wearing your mask and keeping 6 feet away from strangers, of course — this pandemic isn’t over yet!

Belfast wants to make outdoor dining permanent after last year’s success

Jesse Soto of Belfast waits his turn Thursday afternoon to order from Downshift Coffee. Last year, the pandemic led city officials to allow businesses such as the coffee shop to use two adjacent parking spaces for outside seating. The program will continue this summer, too. Credit: Abigail Curtis / BDN Credit: Abigail Curtis / BDN

Some restaurant owners told city officials that they might not have survived without the program last summer.

Replacing deteriorating pier at Bar Harbor’s former ferry terminal estimated to cost $21M

Members of a citizen advisory committee in Bar Harbor walk out on the idle pier at the town’s ferry terminal in this 2017 file photo. The town is considering whether it should repair the pier for more than $17 million or demolish and then replace it with a marina for nearly $21 million. Credit: Nick Sambides Jr. / BDN Credit: Nick Sambides Jr. / BDN

The pier, which originally was built in 1956, has not been used since 2009, when Bay Ferries ended ferry service between Bar Harbor and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

Maine moose are in trouble

In this Oct. 4, 2004, file photo, a young bull moose stands out against the vivid fall foliage of Maine’s North Woods. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

The balance of nature is a beautiful thing, except when it isn’t. Moose are in trouble. Although Maine’s moose population is stable, the herd is sick, and getting sicker.

This will be the worst summer for browntail moth activity in Maine in over a century

Browntail moth caterpillars are already emerging from their winter webs in parts of Maine. The tiny hairs on the caterpillars can cause mild to severe allergic reactions and this summer is shaping up to be one of the worst in terms of browntail activity in Maine. Credit: Courtesy of Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Credit: Courtesy of Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry

Climate change is largely to be blamed for increasing browntail moth activity in Maine.

Kenduskeag Stream water level at near-record low ahead of annual canoe race

Six Mile Falls on Kenduskeag Stream featured very slight rapids on Wednesday, just three days before the 54th edition of the Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race. Credit: John Holyoke / BDN Credit: John Holyoke / BDN

The stream flow measured 181 cubic feet per second on Thursday. In 22 years, the lowest its measured on this date is 179.

Rockland art museum receives gift spanning 3 generations of Wyeth artwork

The Farnsworth Art Museum in Downtown Rockland. Credit: Gabor Degre / BDN Credit: Gabor Degre / BDN

Since the early 1900s, the men have captured Maine’s rugged and rural landscapes and people, creating strong ties to the coast.

Otter shows up at a mink den in this unusual trail cam research photo

A river otter lurks near an American mink’s den in this trail camera photo. Credit: Courtesy of Joshua McCoy Credit: Courtesy of Savannah Navas, Joshua McCoy and Hannah Gilds

The mink that lives in the den is not a big fan of the otter’s presence.

In other Maine news…

Maine man accused of fraudulently getting $60,000 pandemic loan released on bail

Former Cumberland County corrections officer charged with sexual assault of inmate

Houlton man charged with hate crimes in burning of Black church in Massachusetts

3-year-old dies after car driven by 13-year-old hits him in Gorham

Abbreviated spring season motivates UMaine football team for the fall

Former UMaine stars in NHL struggle with injuries this season

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Lindsay Putnam

Lindsay Putnam is a senior editor for sports and features at the Bangor Daily News. Lindsay previously worked as an editor and reporter at the New York Post. She's a York Beach native and Colby College...