Update: As of Saturday Maine now has 456 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 10 deaths. Read the latest story here.
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As of Friday, there are now 432 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in 15 of Maine’s 16 counties, according to Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Nirav Shah. That’s an increase of 56 cases from the previous day, the largest single-day increase in the state since the outbreak began.
The death toll also rose to nine on Friday, as two Mainers from Cumberland County — one in his 70s and one in her 80s, died after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Of those 432 patients, 75 have been hospitalized at some point during their illness, while 113 have recovered.
Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and its impact on Maine.
— In a week that seemed saturated with news that was bad, and sometimes frightening — the governor’s stay-at-home order, issued on Tuesday, or the fact that Maine keeps seeing rising numbers of COVID-19 cases — the torrential downpours and cold weather cast an additional pall on cooped-up residents all around the state. Read our breakdown of what happened in Maine this week.
— Travelers arriving in Maine must self-quarantine for 14 days or they can face a misdemeanor charge, according to an executive order issued by Gov. Janet Mills on Friday to deter the spread of coronavirus that also suspended the operation of lodging businesses.
— Gwyneth McPherson’s coronavirus odyssey all started with her coffee. It was the same brew as the morning before but didn’t taste quite right. Something about it was off. Before the day was out, McPherson found herself quarantined at home with her 80-year-old, memory-impaired mother, fearing she’d contracted COVID-19. Even now, the best answer doctors can give her is: probably.
— It’s too early to judge the long-term impact on students from shifting learning from school buildings to their homes for what could turn out to be the remainder of the school year. It’s impossible to know because the coronavirus outbreak has created a set of unprecedented circumstances.
— The $350 billion federal loan program aimed at easing the financial pain of the new coronavirus for small businesses rolled out on Friday, less than a week after being signed into law amid heavy demand and some initial trouble submitting applications. Here is a guide to the new program and the other options available for those who may need smaller amounts of quick cash.
— A record number of unemployment claims caused by coronavirus shutdowns has forced the Maine Department of Labor to hire 100 more workers and start an alphabetical call-in system to relieve a backlog that has crashed its phone system intermittently.
— Amid a growing number of coronavirus cases and the shortage of protective gear for health care workers, Bowdoin College staff are using 3D printers to create a visor that attaches to a replaceable plastic face shield.
— As of Saturday morning, the virus has sickened 278,458 people in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and caused 7,159 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
— Elsewhere in New England, there have been 192 coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts, 131 in Connecticut, 17 in Vermont, 14 in Rhode Island and seven in New Hampshire.