A woman wears a mask while talking on the phone outside City Hall in Portland on Friday Dec. 11, 2020. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Today is Monday. Temperatures will be in the low 20s to mid-30s with cloudy skies statewide. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

Here’s the latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Another 299 cases were reported in Maine on Sunday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There are now 5,175 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state. The death toll stands at 257.  Check out our COVID-19 Tracker for more information.

Gov. Janet Mills on Friday ordered owners and operators of all indoor public spaces regardless of type or size to not allow those who refuse to wear a face covering to come into or remain in their venue.

After 10 years, Caribou’s new $54M school finally opens in the middle of a pandemic

Caribou Community School, a state of the art PreK-8 facility, opens to in-person classes on Nov. 9. Credit: Chris Bouchard / Aroostook Republican

From negotiating a land swap between Washington, D.C., and the National Park Service to a lone bid that was $12 million over budget, and complications caused by a pandemic, the $54 million prekindergarten through grade eight Caribou Community School project often pushed administrators beyond their limits.

Maine businesses that survived the early pandemic with federal aid on the brink again

Dave Aceto, owner of Arcadia National Bar in Portland, stands in his shuttered business on Thursday Dec. 10, 2020. The bar, which has an arcade game theme, has been closed since the start of the pandemic. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Lawmakers have floated another round of loans as part of a stimulus package, including in a bipartisan proposal earlier this month backed by Maine Sens. Susan Collins — who championed the loan program — and Angus King. But Congress has been deadlocked on virus relief for months, with no deal currently on the table as the holidays approach.

Maine hospitals are deciding which frontline workers will get coronavirus vaccine first

Steve Moody, director of nursing at Central Maine Medical Center, mops the floor of a tent outside the emergency entrance to the hospital where patients are tested for of the coronavirus Friday, March 13, 2020, in Lewiston. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Approximately 12,675 doses will arrive in a first round with the state’s vaccine plan saying high-risk health care workers and those in long-term care facilities will be vaccinated first. Roughly 5,850 will go to hospitals in Portland, Lewiston, Augusta, Bangor and Presque Isle, with most of the rest going to long-term care facilities. Hospitals across Maine are expected to get 33,000 more doses in a second round of shipments once the Moderna candidate is approved.

Some Maine Christmas tree farms have already closed for the season

Julieanna Spaulding, 17, of Murphy’s Tree Stand on Route 3 in Belfast, laughs while showing a wreath to a customer on Saturday. Credit: Abigail Curtis / BDN

For procrastinators, there’s one more way that 2020 could make your holiday season less full of cheer: Christmas trees are in high demand and, in some cases, scarce supply this year.

Aroostook once scoffed at COVID-19, but now it’s seeing cases rise like everywhere else

Dena Holmes, an employee at the Hampton Inn in Presque Isle, gets her temperature checked to test for COVID-19 symptoms before clocking in. Credit: David Marino Jr. / BDN

From Dec. 1 to Dec. 10, Aroostook County saw 105 new cases, more than the 79 it saw in the whole month of November, according to data from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. And the 17 new cases on both Dec. 7 and Dec. 8 represented dubious daily records for The County. The County has also seen a rising portion of its COVID-19 tests coming back positive, another sign of the virus’ widening spread.

Dramatically more Maine law school grads passed the bar exam this year

Kayla Estey was one of 108 recent law school graduates who passed the Maine bar exam in September. Estey now works for the Tucker Law Group in Bangor and will represent Maine businesses in employment matters. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Eighty-six percent of the September test takers passed the exam, the highest passage rate since July 2016 and nearly 30 percentage points higher than the average passage rate of 56.6 percent between February 2015 and July 2019.

The 2020 class of the University of Maine School of Law did even better — 48 of 53 members passed the September exam, pushing the passage rate for the state’s only law school to 90.6 percent, up from 58.6 percent last year.

We want to hear how the pandemic affected your lives in 2020

A sign equates mask wearing with caring for neighbors in downtown Portland on Tuesday Dec. 8, 2020. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

As part of the Bangor Daily News’ year-end coverage, we wanted to hear from you on how the pandemic has most affected you. They could be both negative or positive, reminding us of what we lost during this time, pointing us toward a way you coped or how you are making the best of a bad situation.

It’s Wotton vs. Wolfgram in finals of Maine’s Greatest High School Football Coach of All Time bracket contest

In this 2014 photo, Thornton Academy football players raise the gold ball after beating Windham High School in the Maine Class A football championship game in Portland. Credit: BDN File Photo

We started with 32 coaches who were nominated by our readers and this dynamic duo has emerged to compete for the championship in our bracket contest. John Wolfram and Rodd Wotton came into the contest as our two No. 1 seeds.

In other Maine news…

UMaine students develop virtual games and phone apps to help users cope with the pandemic

This new Hermon distillery is named for Bangor’s legendary red light district

Fatal crashes have increased as traffic declines in Maine during the pandemic

Death of man found in Bangor home was homicide, police say

Water line breaks on Main Street in Bangor

Ellsworth teacher arrested for sexual misconduct with student

Coast Guard tows Kittery-based fishing vessel to safety after 5 days

Patients and staff at Bangor health center potentially exposed to coronavirus

Veteran Portland firefighter dies in off-duty boat accident