April 10 evening update: The latest on the coronavirus and Maine
Troy R. Bennett | BDN

Troy R. Bennett | BDN

A confident sign makes a statement at Don’s Sports Cards on Brighton Avenue in Portland on Thursday. The long-running shop is currently closed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Troy R. Bennett | BDN

By Lynne Fort, BDN Staff


Updated:

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As of Friday, there are now 586 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus spread across 15 of Maine’s counties, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of those total patients, 111 have been hospitalized at some point during their illness and 246 have recovered.

The death toll from the virus in Maine has increased to 17.

[Our COVID-19 tracker contains the most recent information on Maine cases by county]

The only county without a confirmed case is Piscataquis.

Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and Maine.

Coronavirus is confirmed to be spreading in Penobscot County through community transmission, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed on Friday. Two other Maine counties, Cumberland and York, also have confirmed community transmission. That means the virus is circulating among people who have not traveled to other places that have seen outbreaks of the virus or are not in regular contact with other people known to be infected.

—Multiple states have delayed elections due to the novel coronavirus. Maine joined them on Friday as Gov. Janet Mills formally moved Maine’s June 9 primaries to July 14 and pushed back all election-related deadlines by a month on Friday.

—Several nursing homes and retirement communities in Maine have seen outbreaks in recent days. A Falmouth retirement community has 11 coronavirus cases, another in Belfast has 22 cases and a facility in Augusta has four cases.

Many Mainers have now recovered from COVID-19, but some of them are left with questions and frustrations in the wake of their illness.

—The economic impact of the pandemic has been almost as big of a concern as the virus itself. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable, and many have applied for emergency loans via the federal government’s new relief program. Despite the fact that Maine businesses have started receiving those loans, backlogs remain and many want changes to the terms.

—Private and commercial renters across the state are struggling to pay their landlords. Many have called for a rent freeze, but the city of Portland says it is hamstrung by state law. City officials have said that they are wary of making any policy changes while they wait for Gov. Janet Mills to take action.

—The homeless population is more vulnerable to infection than the general public. That’s because they are more likely to live in cramped spaces and less likely to have a way to stay clean. The Hope House shelter in Bangor was searching for a place for their residents that would allow them to sleep farther apart, and it will have to keep searching after officials said it could not use a local university’s gymnasium because it lacked a sprinkler system.

—Many students are facing food insecurity without the guarantee of meals at school. But two Maine schools have found an out-of-state option to feed students.

—Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin ran simulations to calculate the risk in each U.S. county that there are sustained, undetected outbreaks — epidemics — already occurring. These are t he Maine counties most likely to see a sustained spread of the coronavirus.

—Tired of waiting for quarantine to end to get your hair cut? Here’s what you need to know if you want to cut your hair at home.

—As of early Friday evening, the coronavirus has sickened 491,358 people in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Island, as well as caused 18,316 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.

—Elsewhere in New England, there have been 20,974 cases and 599 deaths in Massachusetts, 10,538 cases and 448 deaths in Connecticut, 1,727 cases and 43 deaths in Rhode Island, 679 cases and 24 deaths in Vermont and 819 cases and 21 deaths in New Hampshire.

Watch: Maine CDC press conference, April 10


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