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April 5 evening update: The latest on the coronavirus and Maine

Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
In this Wednesday, April 1, 2020, photo, Joy Engel holds her son at her home in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Engel, who is pregnant, and her husband, Dr. Ben Hagopian, who works at a family practice and an urgent care clinic, decided to isolate themselves from each since the coronavirus outbreak.

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Here’s a roundup of today’s COVID-19 news in Maine and New England, as of 6 p.m. Read all of our coronavirus coverage here.

Another 14 cases of the new coronavirus have been confirmed in Maine. There are now 470 cases spread across 15 Maine counties, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported Sunday. That’s up from 456 on Saturday.

— That includes 86 Maine residents who have been hospitalized with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, while another 156 people have fully recovered from it, according to the Maine CDC.

The death toll in Maine remains at 10. The latest death, a man in his 70s from York County, was confirmed Saturday.

— Use our COVID-19 tracker and interactive map to see how many cases have been reported in each Maine county.

— Here’s everything we know about the Mainers who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 so far.

— Do you have any questions about the coronavirus and how Maine is responding to it? We’re still accepting questions and will do our best to answer as many of them as we can.

— Sunday’s increase comes a day after Republican President Donald Trump approved a disaster declaration for the state of Maine, which means that state agencies, cities and towns will be reimbursed for 75 percent of approved costs from their outbreak response.

— The Maine Department of Health and Human Services announced that the DHHS regional office in Rockland will be closed on Monday after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The affected employee last worked out of the DHHS Rockland office nearly two weeks ago.

— Nicole Boivin of Berwick has always been a healthy person, and she has taken extra care to keep a safe distance from other people and wash her hands since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Despite all that, she got it — and it was bad.

— With tens of thousands of Mainers working from home and thousands of students also at home and logged into devices, parts of the state are seeing a slowdown of internet service and, in some cases, failure.

— Will Wedge arrived at work on March 12 anticipating a typically busy Thursday at his grocery store in downtown Dover-Foxcroft. What he got instead was his first glimpse of a brand new world for grocers large and small as the coronavirus pandemic arrived on America’s doorstep.

— The Maine seafood industry has been upended by the spread of the coronavirus, which has halted sales in restaurants and sent fishermen and dealers scrambling for new markets.

— U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ office is warning small-business owners of another emerging scam targeting those who are seeking payroll relief through the new Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act.

— As the pandemic grows, Appalachian Trail hikers face the difficult decision to postpone their dreams or ignore warnings and forge ahead. Like virtually every other entity in the U.S., the Appalachian Trail Conservancy began issuing COVID-19 safety guidance in March. But social distancing and hand-washing suggestions soon shifted to urging all hikers to leave the trail immediately.

— The New England Patriots opened a drive-through testing site Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.

— Americans braced for what the nation’s top doctor warned Sunday would be “ the hardest and saddest week” of their lives. “This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment,’’ U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams told “Fox News Sunday.”

— Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci said there is a very good chance the new coronavirus “ will assume a seasonal nature” because it is unlikely to be under control globally.

— A review of federal purchasing contracts by The Associated Press shows federal agencies largely waited until mid-March to begin placing bulk orders of N95 respirator masks, mechanical ventilators and other equipment needed by front-line health care workers.

— Experts and health officials who are trying to plan a response to the coronavirus outbreak are missing a critical piece of information — the number of health care workers who have tested positive for the disease.

— As of Sunday, the coronavirus has sickened 331,151 people in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as caused 9,441 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

— Elsewhere in New England, there have been 216 deaths in Massachusetts, 165 in Connecticut, 22 in Vermont, 17 in Rhode Island and nine in New Hampshire.


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