As of 11 a.m. Friday, March 20, 44 Maine residents have been confirmed positive and 12 others are presumed positive for the coronavirus, according to the state.
Here’s a roundup of today’s COVID-19 news in Maine and New England, as of 6 p.m. To read all of our coverage, click here.
— Another eight cases of the new coronavirus were reported in Maine on Friday, bringing the overall total to 56. That includes 44 confirmed cases and 12 presumed positive.
— Five Maine residents have been hospitalized due to the coronavirus.
— Another 2,264 Maine residents have tested negative for the coronavirus, up from 2,004 on Thursday.
— Three cases involving non-residents in the state have been transferred to other states’ health departments. A fourth case initially tested positive at an outside laboratory, but the Maine CDC later determined it to be negative.
— On Thursday, the Maine CDC reported a case had been detected in Hancock County. But that case, diagnosed by a health care provider there, was determined to involve a Penobscot County resident and added to that county’s total.
— A Portland police officer, a Bates College staff member and a staff member of the Colby College athletics department all tested positive for COVID-19. Here’s what else we know about the Mainers who have been diagnosed
— Schools in Maine on Friday started extending their closures for at least another month. That means that closures that were initially slated to last for two weeks will last through the normally scheduled week of April vacation.
— There’s a silver lining to the long lines and empty shelves at grocery stores: Supermarkets desperately need workers immediately to stock goods, drive trucks and select orders in their stores and warehouses.
— Meet Dr. Regan Thibodeau, a University of Southern Maine professor and American Sign Language interpreter who has become a local celebrity for her translations for Maine’s deaf community during the Maine CDC press conferences.
— A 92 year-old Fort Kent man found a way to spend time with his wife of more than six decades on her birthday, despite the coronavirus threat that kept visitors from entering the residential care center where she lives.
— A tight supply of a key substance needed to test for the novel coronavirus is causing Maine to look to private laboratories and the university system for more.
— Camden National Bank and Bangor Savings Bank, the two largest Maine-based banks, said Friday they will defer some loan payments and offer other relief to individuals and businesses harmed financially by the coronavirus outbreak.
— A Brewer resident’s ‘Quarantine Karaoke’ page became a national hit, racking up more than 38,000 followers in a few days.
— Town officials in North Haven have reversed a ban restricting travel to the island that was imposed earlier this week in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
— A NASA astronaut from York, Maine, who’s about to leave the planet for six months will blast off without any family or fanfare because of the coronavirus.
— Gov. Janet Mills directed the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to open all inland waters and waive the requirement that an angler must have a recreational fishing license, effectively immediately and through April 30.
— With coronavirus limiting options, more people are visiting Maine’s state parks.
— Suddenly interested in gardening? Here are four things you can do right now.
— The Maine CDC set up a coronavirus hotline. The hotline is available by calling 211 or 866-811-5695. It can also be reached by texting your zipcode to 898-211 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Canceled flights and other lost business are expected to cost U.S. airports at least $13.9 billion this year.
— Massachusetts confirmed its first death from the coronavirus on Friday.
— Throughout the rest of New England, Massachusetts has 328 confirmed cases, Connecticut has 194, Rhode Island has 44, New Hampshire has 44 and Vermont has 22, according to The New York Times.
— Nationwide, there are 15,650 cases and 202 deaths from the coronavirus as of Thursday evening, according to The New York Times.