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As of Monday, there are now 698 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus spread across 15 of Maine’s counties, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This marks the largest leap of confirmed cases in a single day, with 65 new cases since Sunday.
Of those, 124 Maine residents have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, including 61 patients who are currently hospitalized throughout the state, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Nirav Shah said. Of those 61 patients, 22 are in intensive care unit beds and nine are on ventilators.
Meanwhile, 273 Mainers have fully recovered from the virus.
The state’s death toll stands at 19, with no new deaths reported Monday.
Only one county — Piscataquis — has no confirmed cases of the virus.
Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and its impact in Maine.
—Several nursing homes and retirement communities have seen outbreaks of the coronavirus over the past week. One in Scarborough, Maine Veterans’ Home, has seen its positive cases triple since Saturday.
—Many Mainers are trying to lift their spirits and get some exercise by heading outdoors, but not all the parks and beaches in the state are open. See which Maine state parks and beaches are closed due to coronavirus with our interactive map.
— Amtrak’s Downeaster rail service has been suspended through at least the end of April. That suspension is effective Monday and remains in place until at least April 30, when Democratic Gov. Janet Mills’ stay-at-home order is set to expire.
—Maine has the nation’s oldest and most rural population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That magnifies many of the problems coronavirus has created. States with older populations carry special worries during the deadly pandemic: Loneliness takes an emotional and physical toll on fragile residents. Delivering food and medicine to the homes of isolated shut-ins presents an enormous challenge. Rural hospitals, meanwhile, worry about overwhelmed emergency rooms if the virus continues to spread.
—Another, perhaps unexpected, side effect of the pandemic: a surge of Maine families with children on the way are considering home birth. Midwives are facing unique challenges in the face of coronavirus; here’s how they’re adjusting.
—Small business owners in Maine saw a lifeline in the $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief package. But according to the latest projections, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s $349 billion appropriation for loans to eligible firms, which are forgiven if they use the money to keep workers on their payrolls, will run out of money by Friday. Lawmakers have not yet been able to agree on how to move forward.
— President Donald Trump asserted Monday that he is the ultimate decision-maker for determining how and when to relax the nation’s social distancing guidelines as he grows anxious to reopen the coronavirus-stricken country as soon as possible. But his guidelines, scheduled to expire at the end of the month, have little force — unlike actions of governors and local leaders that carry fines or other other penalties, and in some jurisdictions extend out into the early summer.
—The notion of decision fatigue has been around for a long time — long before the virus came. But now, coronavirus is forcing people to question every choice they make, and those choices have higher stakes than ever.
—Stuck at home with bored kids? Maine carpenter and former boat builder Joe Brooks has an old-fashioned suggestion: why not fly some paper airplanes?
— As of Monday evening, the coronavirus has sickened 572,587 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 23,078 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
— Elsewhere in New England, there have been 844 coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts, 602 in Connecticut, 73 in Rhode Island, 28 in Vermont and 23 in New Hampshire.
Watch: Maine CDC press conference, April 13