April 06, 2020
Morning Update Latest News | Coronavirus | Bangor Metro | Christopher Cassidy | Today's Paper

March 23 morning update: The latest on the coronavirus and Maine

As of 11:30 a.m. Monday, there are 107 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in nine counties, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

That includes 12 Maine residents who have been hospitalized with the coronavirus, which causes an illness known as COVID-19. Another three have recovered.

Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and its impact in Maine.

— The VA Maine Health Care System said Sunday that two veterans and an employee within the system have tested positive for the coronavirus and have been isolated.

— For health care professionals, much-needed protection equipment is on the way. Dr. Nirav Shah, the director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said Sunday that his agency plans to distribute 22,000 items of personal protection equipment — including facemasks, face shields and gloves — throughout Maine. He said the Maine CDC still expects to get more equipment from the federal government, but that even more is needed in Maine to help health care providers handle the growing outbreak. That comes as many states — including hard-hit New Jersey — have been asking the federal government to ramp up the level of supplies it is sending to them.

— Tourist season along Maine’s coast typically doesn’t start until May, but the Town Council in Bar Harbor — which is almost entirely dependent on tourism — is taking a highly unusual step in asking tourists to stay away because of the coronavirus.

— The city of Bangor on Sunday evening increased the limits placed on businesses like restaurants and will only allow businesses that provide “necessary goods and services” to continue to operate during the coronavirus outbreak. That expands on a previous order and goes into effect at 6 p.m. Monday.

— It’s been nearly a week since much of the state shut down to halt the spread of the coronavirus. The speed with which the U.S. economy has ground to a halt has astonished economists who told the Associated Press that they have never seen it go “from healthy to disaster so quickly.” Goldman Sachs expects economic growth to contract at a 24 percent annual rate from April to June. This week, the federal government will release unemployment statistics, which economists believe will show 3 million applied for it last week, a record. By some estimates, the coming months could see 7 million lost jobs and unemployment rise from 3.5 percent to at least 8.8 percent.

— The Trump administration has announced a 90-day extension for filing and paying federal tax bills. This Q&A breaks down what the order does and its impact on the economy.

— Congressional leaders and the White House continue to negotiate a trillion-dollar-plus package to provide relief for Americans during the coronavirus outbreak. That includes one-time direct checks to every American, totaling $1,200 per individual, $2,400 for couples and $3,000 for a family of four. It also would expand unemployment insurance and provide additional money for public health officials working to halt the virus’ spread. Negotiations are expected to continue Monday.

— More than half the counties in America have no intensive care beds, posing a particular danger for more than 7 million people who are age 60 and up — older patients who face the highest risk of serious illness or death from the rapid spread of the coronavirus, a Kaiser Health News data analysis shows. That includes Piscataquis and Washington counties in Maine.

— As of Friday, the virus had sickened 15,219 people in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and caused 201 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

— Among those who have recently tested positive for the coronavirus include Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul. Paul said Sunday he is asymptomatic and in quarantine.

— In Massachusetts, three new deaths from the coronavirus were reported on Sunday, bringing the statewide toll to five. The state confirmed its first death from the virus on Friday.

 


Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

You may also like