In this Oct. 15, 2020, file photo, Sierra Villacci, manager at Bao Bao Dumpling House in Portland, hands a customer his takeout order. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Today is Thursday. Temperatures will be in the 40s throughout the state, with mostly cloudy skies. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and Maine

Another 87 coronavirus cases were reported in Maine on Wednesday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That marked the largest single-day increase in new cases reported in Maine since the pandemic reached here in March. There are 800 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state, the highest yet, while the death toll remains at 146. Check out our COVID-19 Tracker for more information.

There have now been 27 cases linked to an outbreak at Second Baptist Church in Calais, the second recent COVID-19 outbreak connected to a church. That’s up from four cases on Tuesday.

COVID-19 is spiking like it did in the spring, but this time it’s hitting most of Maine

In Oct. 6, 2020, file photo, a shopper wears a mask to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus while checking out sweatshirts on display in the Old Port in Portland. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

That first surge was concentrated in three of Maine’s more populous and urban southern counties — especially Cumberland County, in Portland and its suburbs — and largely driven by deadly outbreaks in elder care facilities. The current spike is more dispersed around Maine, with the virus taking root in more rural and sparsely inhabited regions that had previously seen few cases, most recently Down East and the midcoast.

Strict protocols kept a positive COVID-19 case at Brewer High from starting an outbreak

Brewer schools Superintendent Gregg Palmer is pictured on Sept. 3. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN

The outcome of Brewer High’s positive coronavirus case — the only one identified so far this school year at a Bangor-area school — stands in stark contrast to what’s happened at some other Maine schools where COVID-19 has been detected, where dozens of students have had to quarantine due to close contact and schools have switched to fully remote instruction.

Janet Mills expresses concern over virus spike, but stops short of rolling back business openings

Gov. Janet Mills is seen Sunday at a political event in Bangor. Credit: Eesha Pendharkar / BDN

Maine businesses, which have been reeling under curtailed operations and the federal government’s inability to agree on a new stimulus package, have been waiting for the next shoe to drop, including possible cutbacks in business, industry experts said.

Sara Gideon, Susan Collins nearly tied in poll finding ranked-choice voting helps Democrats

In this Sept. 11, 2020, file photo, Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, left, and incumbent Sen. Susan Collins participate in a debate at the Holiday Inn By The Bay in Portland. Credit: Brianna Soukup / Portland Press Herald via AP

Both Gideon and Joe Biden are likely to make slight gains in the ranked-choice voting process as voters who prefer third-party candidates are more likely to list Democrats as their second choice.

The fantastic 5 beasts of Maine — and where to (possibly) find them

Loren Coleman, founder of Portland’s International Cryptozoology Museum, stands with a 10-foot anaconda skin found in Westbrook in 2016. The skin is thought to belong to Wessie, a giant snake sighted in the Presumpscot River. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Loren Coleman has done extensive research on cryptids — the term for an animal that is claimed but not proven to exist — that may wander the woods and waters of Maine.

This werewolf at the door will play guitar and sing spooky songs for you

Werewolf Serenade is the brainchild of Portlander Betsy Tesh. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

The Three Little Pigs and Red Riding Hood warned us about the wolf at the door. He’s nothing but bad news. But what if the wolf standing on your welcome mat sings and plays electric guitar?

Watch bucks reaching for a ‘licking branch’ in these trail cam photos

A buck leaves its scent on a licking branch. Credit: Courtesy of Reb

Jim’s buck is pretty acrobatic, as you can see, while Reb’s has some company walking out of the frame.

There’s a murder hornet lookalike in Maine, but it’s not nearly as lethal

An Asian giant hornet from Japan is held on a pin by Sven Spichiger, an entomologist with the Washington state Department of Agriculture, is seen in Olympia, Washington. Credit: Ted S. Warren / AP

What people are seeing isn’t the Asian giant hornet. Instead, they are seeing European giant hornets, a more benign and bit smaller species that’s been in this region since the early 1800s.

In other Maine news …

12 cases of COVID-19 now linked to Rockland assisted-living facility outbreak

Maine woman says she could be the Ellie Questlove is searching for

Joe Kennedy to campaign for Biden in Maine on Friday

Judiciary, health care frame final debate between Susan Collins and Sara Gideon

Jay paper mill to cut another 67 workers after explosion ruins pulp operation

Potato farmers expecting lower revenue for smaller crop amid drought and pandemic