Here is a roundup of today’s COVID-19 related news in Maine and New England, as of 7 p.m. Read all of our coronavirus coverage here.
— Janet Mills issued a stay at home order for the state of Maine through April. Mainers are expected to stay home except to grocery shop or to travel to jobs deemed essential. Maine joins a group of 29 states that have issued similar orders. Businesses like grocery stores, pharmacies and health care providers will stay open.
— Another 28 cases were confirmed in Maine on Tuesday, bringing the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 303. Five Mainers have died from the virus.
— Twelve counties have confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. Cumberland County has been hit the hardest, with 169 cases. York County has 59. Both counties have confirmed community spread. The Maine CDC is investigating the possibility of community spread in Penobscot (12 cases), Androscoggin (11) and Kennebec (12) counties.
— The remaining cases are in Franklin (2), Knox (5), Lincoln (8), Oxford (9), Sagadahoc (7), Somerset (1) and Waldo (2) counties.
— A woman has been quarantined at a homeless shelter in Portland after testing positive for COVID-19. The woman spent a few nights at the Oxford Street Shelter. She remains in isolation at the city’s emergency shelter on Chestnut Street.
— A Maine Department of Corrections employee also tested positive for COVID-19. The employee worked at the Bolduc Correctional Facility and has been in isolation since March 20.
— Bangor is shutting off access to public playgrounds and fitness equipment. This includes school playgrounds and public parks. The ban will remain in effect until the City of Bangor lifts its emergency declaration.
— Maine courts are rescheduling six murder trials that were schedueld for April and May. Other jury trials and grand jury cases are also postponed.
— Maine community colleges are offering free health care training programs for laid-off workers. The community college system will provide short-term, online training to workers to help fill the need for health care workers in Maine and to help combat the increasing unemployment in the state.
— Maine distillers and brewers are teaming up with the University of Maine to produce hand sanitizer. Brewers or distillers who would usually produce whiskey or beer are converting their facilities to produce germ-killing sanitizers.
— More than 800 health care workers have volunteered to combat COVID-19 in Maine. Nirav Shaw, Maine’s CDC coordinator, asked for volunteers to help in hospitals and doctors offices around the state.
— The Belfast Montessori School is opening its doors to children of health care workers and others on the front line of pandemic. They are offering to teach children whose parents are on the frontlines and cannot work from home.
— Some Maine State employees said that their departments are not doing enough to protect workers. Certain departments do not offer temperature checks and employees still share breakrooms.
— Eastern Maine Medical Center nurses are demanding more personal protective equipment. Nurses sent a letter to the hospital administration outlining the protective equipment they need.
— Personal care workers in Maine are getting a raise three months early, Mills announced.
— The island of Vinalhaven is pushing back on ‘vigilante’ actions amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Last week, a small group of residents allegedly tried to force a group of out-of-staters to quarantine by cutting a tree down and blocking their driveway. Officials said that this incident is not representative of how the island of 1,000 people is coping with the virus.
— Eleven people died at a Massachusetts veterans home. The superintendent of the veterans home was removed Monday after five residents with confirmed cases and five residents with pending test results died.
— Rhode Island is extending its remote education order to the end of April, Gov. Gina Raimondo announced Monday.
— The United States death toll from the coronavirus passed China on Tuesday. The U.S. reported more than 3,500 deaths on Tuesday. New York reported about 1.550 deaths.
— Abortion providers are suing the Texas government over a virus outbreak order. The Texas government moved to ban abortions as the virus spread.
— The FBI has contacted Sen. Richard Burr about his sale of stocks before the coronavirus caused market numbers to drop. The republican senator from North Carolina sold as much as $1.7 million in stocks in January.
— Dr. Anthony Fauci said the White House coronavirus task force is considering recommending community-wide use of masks to deter the spread of the new coronavirus.
— The NCAA approved an extra year of eligibility to spring sport athletes who lost seasons to the coronavirus. Winter sport athletes were not given another year of eligibility.
—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 zip code to 207-898-211 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Nationwide, there are 186,265 total cases and 3,810 coronavirus-related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
— Throughout the rest of New England, Massachusetts has 6,618 confirmed cases and 61 deaths, Connecticut has 2,571 cases and 36 deaths, Rhode Island has 488 cases and eight deaths, Vermont has 256 confirmed cases and 12 deaths, and New Hampshire has 314 cases and three deaths, according to the New York Times.