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Another 44 cases of the new coronavirus have been detected in the state and one more Mainer has died after testing positive for COVID-19.
There have now been 1,374 confirmed and likely coronavirus cases across all of Maine’s counties, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from 1,330 on Thursday.
The most recent death was a resident of Hancock County, according to the Maine CDC. It’s the first death reported in that county. The statewide death toll now stands at 63.
So far, 194 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Of those, 44 people are currently hospitalized, with 23 in critical care and 10 on ventilators, according to the Maine CDC.
Meanwhile, another 836 people have fully recovered from the coronavirus, meaning there are 475 active and likely cases in the state. That’s down from 481 on Thursday.
Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and Maine.
—On Friday, Gov. Janet Mills announced that in 12 of the state’s more rural counties, retail establishments would be able to reopen on Monday and restaurants would be able to open for limited dine-in service on May 18, so long as they follow a number of new health guidelines.
— Maine has become one of at least a dozen states that are beginning to ease restrictions on businesses in rural areas with fewer cases of the coronavirus while many rules will be in place in more heavily populated areas until June.
— A group of Maine business owners on Friday sued Gov. Janet Mills over her unprecedented shutdown orders to limit the spread of the coronavirus, claiming they are unconstitutional.
—Maine’s agriculture commissioner has called on the federal government to loosen the rules about the interstate shipping of meat during the coronavirus pandemic. She said that would “smooth out bottlenecks in the local food chain, reduce the need to cull healthy livestock and poultry and support our food-insecure during this extremely difficult time.”
— While the full extent of the economic impact that all the licensed sugarhouses around Maine will face from the pandemic is still unknown, it’s likely to take a big bite out of maple syrup consumption this year.
—Despite the global halt of all cruise ship operations, a near-empty 785-foot cruise ship could be on its way to Maine to tether at a large breakwater pier in Eastport for much of the summer. There have not been any passengers on board the ship, Oceania Cruises’ Riviera, for more than a month. After being moved to Eastport the ship’s crew would be reduced to “maintain basic ship operations only,” according to the city’s port authority.
—Uncle Andy’s Diner in South Portland, which has twice appeared on the Food Network, is closing for good after 66 years in business. Owner Dennis Fogg said Friday he’ll keep the diner open until the end of May for takeout. Being closed to sit-down customers by pandemic restrictions has devastated his business, since the diner is mostly known for serving breakfast and lunch.
— To survive coronavirus lockdowns, this Richmond food truck set up shop in its owners’ front yard. Then the complaints began.
— As of early Thursday morning, the coronavirus has sickened 1,281,246 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 76,901 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
— Elsewhere in New England, there have been 4,702 coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts, 2,874 in Connecticut, 399 in Rhode Island, 121 in New Hampshire and 53 in Vermont.
Watch: Gov. Janet Mills, Maine CDC coronavirus press conference, May 8