Today is Tuesday. There have now been 1,205 confirmed and likely cases of the new coronavirus across all of Maine’s counties, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
No new deaths were confirmed on Monday, leaving the statewide death toll at 57.
So far, 186 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, while another 720 people have fully recovered from the coronavirus, meaning there are 428 active and likely cases in the state. That’s up from 422 on Sunday.
Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and its impact in Maine.
— The Maine CDC will provide an update on the coronavirus this afternoon. The BDN will livestream the briefing.
— A Bethel restaurant, Sunday River Brewing Co., that defied state orders by opening its doors to diners on Friday announced plans to reopen on Tuesday, which would again violate Democratic Gov. Janet Mills’ restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
— 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.
— Thousands of Mainers who have exhausted unemployment insurance over the last year are ineligible for benefits even though two separate programs aim to give them extensions due to the coronavirus-caused economic slowdown. Typically, an individual can only use state unemployment benefits for 26 weeks within a yearlong period, but the CARES Act, a coronavirus stimulus bill that passed Congress at the end of March, added an additional 13 weeks of eligibility. But Maine is still working through how to implement that program.
— A court has allowed two Maine hospitals in bankruptcy to seek loans through a federal relief program even though the agency that runs the program previously said they were ineligible because they had filed for bankruptcy. In court filings last week, both Calais Regional Hospital and Penobscot Valley Hospital in Lincoln warned that they could have to close their doors by the end of June if they didn’t receive outside funding through the federal Paycheck Protection Program or other relief programs.
— The Maine Field Hockey Association announced Monday that it has canceled the 2020 Maine Field Hockey Festival and McNally Senior All-Star Game. The organization cited the coronavirus pandemic and state-mandated restrictions on public gatherings. Its board of directors is working on plans to recognize the senior all-stars in some other fashion.
— 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.
— As of early Tuesday morning, the coronavirus has sickened 1,180,634 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 68,934 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
— Elsewhere in New England, there have been 4,090 coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts, 2,556 in Connecticut, 341 in Rhode Island, 86 in New Hampshire and 52 in Vermont.