1. COVID-19 hospitalizations in Maine reached a record 403 patients Monday as omicron continues to spread rapidly through the state. The Maine CDC estimates omicron accounts for 70 to 90 percent of COVID-19 cases in the state.
2. Starting Saturday, private health insurers will be required to cover as many as eight home COVID-19 tests per month. Americans will be able to either purchase home testing kits for free under their insurance or submit receipts for reimbursement.
3. Dangerous wind chills are expected through Wednesday morning. In some areas, they could approach 40 degrees below zero. Several communities have opened warming shelters to help people avoid the hazardous cold.
4. It is the end of an era in Wiscasset as Big Al’s officially closed its doors yesterday. After 35 years 71-year-old owner Al Cohen is moving on. The store became famous for its wide variety of products as well as its iconic TV ads.
5. A rescue dog from Maine has been chosen to take part in next month’s Puppy Bowl. Emily will play for Team Fluff as she tries to win the Lombarky trophy. The Puppy Bowl will air at 2 p.m. Feb. 13 on Animal Planet and Discovery+.
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