As of Sunday, there are now 867 cases of the new coronavirus spread across all of Maine’s counties, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Another two Mainers have died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, bringing the statewide death toll to 34. Those cases involved men in their 60s and 80s from Cumberland County.
The Maine CDC reports that 134 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with the coronavirus, while 393 have recovered from it, meaning there are 474 active cases across the state.
Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and its impact in Maine.
— The Maine CDC will provide an update on the coronavirus later today. The BDN will livestream the briefing.
— As hospitals are stretched thin with staffing concerns and lack of resources, traveling nurses like Brynn Cafazzo have unique access to the ways hospitals are responding to the virus in different parts of the country. Cafazzo just finished a stint at St. Mary’s Hospital, working in the intensive care unit as the coronavirus spread across the country to Maine. Now she’s working at a hospital in Boston, and Cafazzo fears she will inevitably become infected.
— Piscataquis County may not be at the epicenter of Maine’s coronavirus outbreak. But that’s not to say the impact of the coronavirus stops at the county line, including the food insecurity that comes with rapidly expanding unemployment around the state. The pandemic is placing food banks across the nation under strain as demand for assistance spikes while more and more people are out of work.
— Thousands of Maine fishermen and others in the seafood sector could have qualified for pandemic relief through the Paycheck Protection Program, but many were, apparently, unable to access the benefits before the money ran out.
— Ashton Gardens Gracious Retirement Living in Portland has confirmed a cluster of coronavirus cases. Ashton Gardens is on the same street and less than half a mile away from The Cedars, another congregate senior facility where multiple cases have been detected.
— President Donald Trump called U.S. Sen. Angus King “worse than any Democrat” on Saturday, a day after the Maine independent criticized his administration’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak on a call with Vice President Mike Pence. King, a former two-term Maine governor who caucuses with Democrats, had at least one testy exchange with the vice president on the Friday call that culminated in the senator calling the federal government’s failure to provide widespread testing for the virus “a dereliction of duty.”
— Governors eager to rescue their economies and feeling heat from President Donald Trump are moving to ease restrictions meant to control the spread of the coronavirus, even as new hot spots emerge and experts warn that moving too fast could prove disastrous. Adding to the pressure are protests against stay-at-home orders organized by small-government groups and Trump supporters. They staged demonstrations Saturday in several cities after the president urged them to “liberate” three states led by Democratic governors. Some public health professionals are concerned that voters will use a partisan lens to decide which policymakers they heed as communities consider easing restrictions that have smothered normal life — a potentially dangerous dynamic.
— As of early Monday morning, the coronavirus has sickened 759,786 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 40,683 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
— Elsewhere in New England, there have been 1,706 coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts, 1,127 in Connecticut, 150 Rhode Island, 41 in New Hampshire and 38 in Vermont.