Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support our critical reporting on the coronavirus by purchasing a digital subscription or donating directly to the newsroom.
As of Thursday, there are now 432 confirmed cases of the coronavirus throughout the state, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s an increase of 56 cases from the previous day, with cases confirmed in 15 of Maine’s 16 counties.
That includes 75 people who have been hospitalized with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, while another 113 Maine residents have fully recovered from the virus, according to Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC. A total of nine people have died from the coronavirus in Maine.
Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and its impact in Maine.
— More than 15 percent of those with confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in Maine are health care workers, underscoring the risk they face in treating the viral infection and the potential stress on the health care system if the numbers of infected health care workers continue to mount.
—After a record number of unemployment claims caused by coronavirus shutdowns, the Maine Department of Labor hired 100 more workers and started an alphabetical call-in system to relieve a backlog that has crashed its phone system intermittently.
—Bucksport residents and businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic will get $175,000 in relief from a new town fund — $60,000 more than initially expected thanks to a gift from a former resident. Bucksport stands out as a municipal government offering direct, coronavirus-related aid to its residents.
—The novel coronavirus restrictions prohibit Bath Iron Works employees from carpooling to work, forcing them to drive individually and park in satellite lots, some over a mile from the shipyard. Read about new challenges workers face under social distancing rules.
—Ellsworth councilors voted Thursday night to bar anyone looking to distance themselves from the coronavirus outbreak from staying at the city’s lodging through the end of April, heavily restricting all hotel and Airbnb stays.
— In Maine — and across the United States — there’s a shortage of respiratory therapists. And with cases of COVID-19 expected to continue to rise, hospitals are trying to find more of them, as respiratory therapists now on the front lines face significant risks.
—With COVID-19 presenting considerable risk to those with preexisting conditions, those waiting for organ transplants find themselves unable to enter the hospitals where those transplants would take place. One Maine woman is waiting on a life-saving liver transplant, and spoke with us about the complications brought by the pandemic.
— What questions are on your mind about COVID-19? We’ll do our best to answer.
— 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 email@example.com.
— Throughout the rest of New England, Massachusetts has 10,402 confirmed cases and 192 deaths, Connecticut has 4,914 cases and 131 deaths, Rhode Island has 711 cases and 14 deaths, Vermont has 389 confirmed cases and 17 deaths, and New Hampshire has 479 cases and five deaths.
— Nationwide, there are 270,473 cases and 6,889 deaths from the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Watch: 6 ways you can prevent COVID-19