1. 169 members of the Maine National Guard will join 202 members already at 16 health care facilities across the state today. Covid-19 hospitalization numbers remain high, putting a lot of stress on services and medical staff.
2. Maine shattered its annual record for overdose deaths in 2021. The 636 deaths, a 23% increase over 2020, are largely the result of fentanyl being added to other drugs. Increased isolation and other pandemic challenges also were factors.
3. A shortage of referees for youth and high school sports in Maine is creating challenges. The number of hockey officials in Maine went from 88 before the pandemic to 68 this year. Basketball Officials dropped to 193 from 250.
4. The Biden Administration will make 400 million N95s available as part of the largest deployment of PPE in U.S. history. The masks will be available in pharmacies and community health centers starting next week.
5. On Wednesday, Instagram announced that a “handful of creators” will test out subscriptions. The influencers can set the price from 99 cents to $99 per month. Anyone who pays will get access to exclusive stories and live feeds.
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