Today is Monday. There have now been 1,015 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus across all of Maine’s counties, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The statewide death toll rose to 50 over the weekend, with the latest involving three women in their 80s from Androscoggin, Franklin and Waldo counties. More than half of Maine’s coronavirus deaths have involved nursing home residents.
So far, 159 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, while another 532 have recovered, meaning there are 433 active cases in the state.
Democratic Gov. Janet Mills could soon decide whether to extend or let expire a stay-at-home order. 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.
— No new deaths were reported Sunday, the first day a new death has not been reported in almost two weeks. Last week was the deadliest week in the outbreak so far, with 18 new deaths recorded.
— More than a dozen Maine health care industry groups representing hospitals, nursing homes, doctors and others are asking Gov. Janet Mills for civil and criminal immunity during the civil state of emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The request asks Mills to suspend the laws holding health care providers and their employees responsible for death or injury during the state of emergency related to them providing services, denying care or reallocating resources while following state or facility guidelines around the pandemic.
— The state’s bustling craft beer industry is facing one of its first major roadblocks as coronavirus-related restrictions stunt sales and threaten summer tourism. Maine ranked 19th among the 50 states with its 133 craft breweries in 2019. The state ranked sixth in beer consumption with each over-21 adult drinking 10.7 gallons per year on average, the Brewers Association said. But numbers this year likely won’t look so lofty and could hinge on when businesses are allowed to reopen, experts said.
— The University of Maine is documenting the community’s coronavirus pandemic experiences with an archive project spearheaded by the Special Collections Department at Raymond H. Fogler Library. The project is calling for social media posts, photographs and personal reflections or anything else that captures day-to-day life during the pandemic.
— More than 400,000 Maine residents have already received economic impact payments from the federal government, according to data released jointly by the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service on Friday. But citizens who did not file taxes in the past two years and do not receive social security or veterans benefits will need to register with the IRS to receive stimulus checks.
— Late last month, University of Southern Maine student Maha Jaber received an email from University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy that listed opportunities for university students and staff to help out during the coronavirus pandemic. She signed up to provide whatever assistance she could before she finished reading the email. Jaber, who lives in Portland, is one of 193 nursing students and faculty members from across the University of Maine System who have volunteered to work in hospitals, nursing homes and other health care settings that need them as those facilities find themselves on the front lines of fighting the coronavirus in Maine.
— While most of the world hungers for a vaccine to put an end to the death and economic destruction wrought by the coronavirus, some anti-vaccine groups are joining with anti-lockdown protesters to challenge restrictions aimed at protecting public health. Vaccine critics suffered serious setbacks in the past year, as states strengthened immunization laws in response to measles outbreaks sparked by vaccine refusers. Now, many of these same vaccine critics are joining a fight against stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns intended to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
— Catching the coronavirus once may not protect you from getting it again, according to the World Health Organization, a finding that could jeopardize efforts to allow people to return to work after recovering from the virus. The WHO guidance came after some governments suggested that people who have antibodies to the coronavirus could be issued an “immunity passport” or “risk-free certificate” that would allow them to travel or return to work, based on the assumption that they were safe from reinfection.
— As of early Monday morning, the coronavirus has sickened 965,933 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 54,877 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
— Elsewhere in New England, there have been 2,899 coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts, 1,924 in Connecticut, 266 in Rhode Island, 60 in New Hampshire and 46 in Vermont.
Watch: Nirav Shah talks about the impact of coronavirus on rural Maine