A woman wearing a mask looks at her phone in Portland on Tuesday. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Today is Thursday. Temperatures will be in the 30s with a chance for rain and snow throughout the state. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

The latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Eighteen more Mainers have died and another 1,325 coronavirus cases were reported on Wednesday, according to Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The death toll now stands at 1,510. Check out our tracker for more information.

Lewiston’s Bates College has announced new precautions for next semester— starting with remote classes — to keep the campus open amid a wave of COVID-19 infections.

The restaurant group Big Tree Hospitality launched a petition drive with other restaurants asking the Portland City Council to consider a vaccine mandate for certain indoor spaces, including restaurants, as COVID-19 cases spike again.

The state’s near record-high COVID-19 cases are likely undercounted

While public health experts are nearly unanimous that at-home tests are key to fighting the coronavirus’ spread, they’re also part of the reason for the undercount.

Omicron leads businesses to delay return-to-office plans

The returns would have signaled that the virus was being managed successfully.

PLUS: New omicron variant leaves employers uncertain about bringing back office workers despite vaccines

These stories of Mainers doing amazing things show 2021 wasn’t all bad

Those stories might not have been the loudest, but they are the ones that made us smile — and sometimes even shed a tear.

Dealers hustle to meet demand for live lobsters on New Year’s Eve

The direct shipping model seems to be a hit with customers who want to have Maine lobsters for their special occasion but don’t live in Vacationland.

Camden and Rockland are considering adding paid parking in their downtown hubs

Most midcoast Maine towns do not charge for the use of public parking despite the influx of summer tourists. But that could be changing.

300-foot private pier proposed for Lincolnville prompts outcry from local residents

The ferry pier is roughly the same size as the proposed private pier, and that’s one of the things that has struck Lincolnville resident John Pincince as out of proportion.  

Rare albino squirrel visits home of Burnham couple

While many Maine wildlife sightings involving white or mostly white animals and birds are a treat, this squirrel appears to be special.

Canadian center chose UMaine hockey over getting paid to play for his hometown team

It would have been easy for Lynden Breen to play for the team he idolized growing up. But he chose UMaine.

In other Maine news …

Florida developers purchase the Charles Inn in downtown Bangor

A Texas-based software company has purchased the University Inn in Orono

Missing Naples man was last seen on Christmas Eve

3 hospitalized for carbon monoxide exposure at Portland food bank

A conservation easement could halt the Nordic Aquafarms project in Belfast

Fire at former Lewiston lumber company under investigation

No confirmed deaths from flu in Maine as cases remain low

Can-Am International Sled Dog Races will return in March after COVID hiatus

Questions still swirl around UMaine women’s basketball team’s performance as it opens league play