PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine's largest farm trade show will be a virtual event next year as the state's agricultural sector continues to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Maine Agricultural Trades Show will be held online in January 2021, the state's Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry said in a statement. The department organizes the event, and department officials said the ability to gather in person “is still likely to be limited to a level that is much lower than the number of people who would regularly attend” the trade show.

The trade show has taken place since 1941 and typically includes more than 100 exhibitors and dozens of conference sessions. It also serves as a networking and planning event for the state's farmers, who use the show to get ready for the coming season.

“We know our farmers and producers would value the opportunity to gather together in preparation for the 2021 season, and for many, the Trades Show is an annual kick-off event for the year. But ultimately, the health and wellbeing of our community takes precedence," said state agriculture bureau director Nancy McBrady.

In other news related to the pandemic in Maine:



An additional 43 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the state, the Maine CDC said Thursday.

The total number of confirmed new cases is more than 5,400, the Maine CDC said. The number of deaths increased by one to 142. The average number of new confirmed cases per day was about 34, which was slightly less than it was a week ago.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.