June 04, 2020
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April 8 evening update: The latest on the coronavirus and Maine

Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Bicyclists wear masks while riding in Portland, Maine, Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Officials announced Wednesday that Maine now has more than 500 confirmed cases of coronavirus. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

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As of Wednesday, there are now 537 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus spread across 15 of Maine’s counties, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of those, 101 Maine residents have been hospitalized with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, while 187 people have fully recovered from it.

[Our COVID-19 tracker contains the most recent information on Maine cases by county]

Another two people have died from the coronavirus, bringing the statewide death toll to 14.

The only county without any confirmed cases is Piscataquis.

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

—Maine expected to get 15 rapid coronavirus testing machines to more quickly assess patients, but on Wednesday it received a “much smaller” number of the machines, health officials said. In response, a top health official said on Wednesday that the state was going “back to the drawing board” on a testing strategy.

—Maine’s top public health official on Wednesday answered the key question on the minds of businesspeople: When will they be able to start operating again?

Maine Sen. Angus King and several Democrats in the U.S. Senate called on Wednesday for a future stimulus bill aimed at coronavirus relief to include money to support local news organizations.

The Burton snowboard company is donating 500,000 respirator masks to hospitals across the Northeast, harnessing the company’s worldwide footprint to help put a dent in the country’s lagging stockpile of personal protective equipment for the coronavirus pandemic.

The president of the largest combined union at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery is calling for the facility to temporarily shut down to prevent an outbreak of the new coronavirus there. His remarks come after the U.S. Navy confirmed a civilian worker from the shipyard died Sunday from complications related to COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

—Central Maine Healthcare, which has hospitals in Lewiston, Rumford and Bridgton, is furloughing about 330 of its approximately 3,200 employees, and top executives are taking a paycut, as it scales back elective procedures and postpones appointments amid the coronavirus pandemic.

—The Aroostook County Action Program and the University of Maine at Presque Isle have created a new temporary wellness shelter in the university’s gym in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The shelter, which will be operated by Aroostook County Action Program staff with the help of MaineHousing, will accommodate up to 20 people who are experiencing homelessness and who do not show any signs of the coronavirus.

A former Portland police chief who now leads Detroit’s police force has tested positive for the new coronavirus. Despite the illness and being under quarantine since March 27, Craig said he remains involved in decision-making at the Detroit Police Department.

—Although President Donald Trump has directed states and hospitals to secure what supplies they can, the federal government is quietly seizing orders, leaving medical providers across the country in the dark about where the material is going and how they can get what they need to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

—If you were hoping to go camping up north any time soon, you’ll need to change your plans. Members of the North Maine Woods Inc. have announced they’re honoring the spirit of Gov. Janet Mills’s recent executive order that closes lodging establishments and will shut down their own campsites until at least May 1.

—Democratic lawmakers and community leaders in cities hard-hit by the pandemic have been sounding the alarm over what they see as a disturbing trend of the virus killing African Americans at a higher rate, along with a lack of overall information about the race of victims as the nation’s death toll mounts.

— As of Wednesday evening, the coronavirus has sickened 423,135 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 14,390 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.

— Elsewhere in New England, there have been 16,790 cases and 433 deaths from the coronavirus in Massachusetts, 7,781 cases and 277 deaths in Connecticut, 1,450 cases and 35 deaths in Rhode Island, 605 cases and 23 deaths in Vermont and 747 cases and 13 deaths in New Hampshire.

Watch: Nirav Shah thanks everyday Mainers for staying inside


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