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There have now been 1,226 confirmed and likely cases of the new coronavirus across all of Maine’s counties, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Four new deaths were confirmed on Tuesday, leaving the statewide death toll at 61.
The latest deaths include a man and a woman, both in their 70s, from Kennebec County, and a man in his 70s and a man in his 80s, both from Cumberland County.
So far, 187 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, while another 741 people have fully recovered from the coronavirus, meaning there are 424 active and likely cases in the state. That’s down from 248 on Monday.
Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and its impact in Maine.
— Maine health officials reported a spike of coronavirus cases at a Portland meat-processing plant on Tuesday that brought the total number of positive tests to 37, equaling nearly 10 percent of Tyson Foods’ full-time workforce there.
— The Common Ground Country Fair, which was scheduled for Sept. 25-27, will instead be held virtually this year, according to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, which announced the cancellation on its website Tuesday.
— The Maine Department of Transportation is working out details of a plan to close Rockland’s Main Street to vehicular traffic next month and let businesses and restaurants utilize the roadway as an open-air market to serve customers while better adhering to social distancing standards.
— The Maine Department of Education is helping 24,000 students across the state connect to the internet using newly received federal funding. At the end of April, Maine received more than $53 million in federal aid through two separate grants under the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act, signed into law on March 27 by President Donald Trump.
— A group of Maine doctors who oversee the medical care of residents at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities is urging the state to open up coronavirus testing to staff and residents who have any respiratory symptoms as a way to pre-empt additional outbreaks of the virus.
— The organizers of the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest have canceled the 2020 festival. The Damariscotta Pumpkinfest involves numerous individual events that culminate with a weekend of festivities in October, including pumpkin-boat races. The festival attracts thousands of visitors to the Twin Villages and beyond.
— Travel in Maine, which dropped significantly after the novel coronavirus was confirmed in the state, picked up again in the last week of April, though data suggest that much of the increase in activity occurred outdoors where the virus seems less likely to spread.The uptick might indicate some weariness with continued restrictions.
— James Herrera has worked at the hardy Mill Creek Barber Shop in a South Portland plaza for 11 years. When it finally opened on Friday, the place was abuzz with customers eager to get quarantine mops cropped. But Herrera wasn’t among them. Many businesses are staffed by workers like Herrera making informed decisions to stay away even though his shop owner has turned the lights back on.
— The U.S. Treasury Department has not sent any payments to tribal governments from a coronavirus relief package approved in late March. The Treasury Department was named as a defendant in a federal lawsuit brought by tribes that sought to keep the money out of the hands of Alaska Native corporations. U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta in Washington, D.C., agreed last week to limit funding to the country’s 574 federally recognized tribes while he settles the larger question of eligibility. The Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians was among the tribes that filed the lawsuit against the Treasury Department.
— Where’s my check? Answers to common pandemic relief payment questions.
— How is your pet handling life during the pandemic? Let us know.
— As of Tuesday evening, the coronavirus has sickened 1,202,246 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 70,847 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
— Elsewhere in New England, there have been 4,212 coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts, 2,633 in Connecticut, 355 in Rhode Island, 86 in New Hampshire and 53 in Vermont.