PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — People seeking to get outdoors during the pandemic have helped set a record at Maine’s 12 state park campgrounds.

The season isn’t yet over, but there have been at least 270,794 campers through Sept. 30. That already topped the previous record of 261,589 campers in 2018.

It’s especially impressive since the parks opened two to four weeks later, and missed the busy Memorial Day weekend, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Andy Cutko, director of the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, said many people realized that “being outside was one of the safest places to be.”

Maine’ state park campgrounds will be open through this weekend, and longer if there’s good weather.

In other coronavirus-related news:


The Maine Center for Disease Control reported 32 new coronavirus cases and one death on Friday.

That brings the total number of cases in Maine to 5,666 and the number of deaths to 143, officials said.

For most people, the new 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.