Portland Head Lighthouse, Maine

Portland Head Lighthouse, Maine

Last updated May 5 at 3:49 pm E.D.T.

As of May 1, Maine is reporting 1,226 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 61 deaths associated with the virus, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention. This makes it 45th in the list of states for the most US coronavirus cases. Confirmed cases have been reported in 16 out of 16 counties in the state. 

Of the 1,226 diagnosed with the virus, 187 people from Maine have been hospitalized and another 741 have recovered. As of April 29, there have been 19,546 negative tests in the state. 

Updates

-A Tyson Foods’ meat processing plant in Portland  reported a spike of coronavirus cases on May 5, bringing the total number of positive tests to 37, or nearly 10% of the plant’s full-time workforce there, the Bangor Daily News reported.

-Certain businesses in Maine, including those in hospitality, hair salons, automobile dealerships, dog groomers and religious services that social distance, can begin opening under a new plan released by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills. However, people who go in public areas will have to wear a face coverings in places where they cannot practice social distancing. Children under age 2 do not have to wear masks.

-The Portland City Council has extended the city’s emergency stay-at-home order until May 18, according to the Bangor Daily News.

-The University of Maine is inviting students and faculty the chance to document the pandemic by sharing social media posts, photographs, personal reflections, updated course work and more with the Special Collections Department at Raymond H. Fogler Library, according to the Bangor Daily News. 

-In a program dubbed “Maine Welcome,” the University of Maine System is offering college students whose campuses have closed due to the outbreak the opportunity to finish their degrees in Maine this fall. Any students who make the switch will pay in-state tuition (a proposed $8,071 a year for undergrads and $23,190 a year for law students), even if they’re not from Maine, according to the Bangor Daily News. 

The Maine University system plans to have in-person instruction this fall, the Bangor Daily News reported. 

-The Trump administration has put out information saying that Maine has more testing capacity than it actually does, according to The Portland Press Herald. 

-Hundreds of people protested on April 20 against the state government restrictions set in place during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the Bangor Daily News. 

-Mills announced guidelines for reopening the economy. Mills said that “widespread testing, personal protective equipment, and contact tracing are critical to lifting restrictions and reviving the economy,” according to an April 17 statement. 

-Mills has extended the civil state of emergency proclamation from April 15 to May 15, according to the Bangor Daily News. The proclamation gives the governor the ability to suspend the enforcement of laws, establish emergency reserves of certain products and allows the state to receive federal funding to help the outbreak.

-Maine’s primary election has moved from June 9 to Tuesday, July 14, 2020, according to an executive order Mills signed on April 10. The order also allowed for absentee ballot applications up to and including Election Day, according to a news statement.

-A traveling salesperson caused a “fair number” of COVID-19 cases in Maine, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Nirav Shah said April 9, according to the Bangor Daily News. 

-COVID-19 is spreading at Tall Pines Retirement and Health Care Community in Belfast, Maine. Ten residents and three staffers have tested positive for the virus, according to the Bangor Daily News.

-A Maine native has built a website that helps people find necessities at local stores across the country, according to the Bangor Daily News. The website, quarantin.io, asks community members to update which businesses have which supplies. 

-In light of the pandemic, the state is accelerating pay increases for personal care workers — including personal support specialists, home health aides, private duty nurses and other professionals who care for Maine’s older residents at home — and expanding access to meals for older Mainers, who are home-bound because of COVID-19, according to a statement from the state government. 

-Portland, Maine’s most populated city, has issued a stay-at-home order, except for people working at essential organizations, including grocery stores, restaurants doing carry-out, pharmacies and health care facilities, the Portland Press Herald reported. Portlanders can still go outside to walk their dogs and exercise, but the city asked that they stay 6 feet (1.8 meters) away from each other. 

-The state’s colleges have also shuttered their doors and turned to online learning, including Colby in Waterville, Bates in Lewiston, Bowdoin College in Brunswick and the University of Maine System’s seven campuses. Since March 16, most K-12 schools in the state have also closed for two weeks.

-Mills, who declared a civil emergency on March 15, ordered that eateries in Maine close for dine-in service and banned people from gathering in groups of more than 10, according to the Bangor Daily News. 

-Mills signed a $73 million spending bill March 18, with most of the money addressing the coronavirus outbreak. The package includes expanding unemployment insurance, providing money for towns and schools and allowing the governor the authority to reschedule the June primary elections or expand absentee voting, the Bangor Daily News reported.

Coronavirus

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Counties with positive cases include:

  •  The 9 deadliest viruses on Earth 
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  •  11 surprising facts about the respiratory system 

Originally published on Live Science. 

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