Today is Monday. There have now been 1,687 confirmed and likely cases of the new coronavirus in all of Maine’s counties since the outbreak began in March, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
No new deaths were reported Sunday, leaving the statewide death toll at 70. The latest death, confirmed Saturday, involved a man in his 90s from Cumberland County.
So far, 216 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, while 1,028 people have fully recovered from the coronavirus, leaving 589 active and likely cases in the state. That’s up from 566 on Saturday.
A majority of the cases have been in Mainers over age 50, while more cases have been reported in women than men, according to the Maine CDC.
Here’s a roundup of the latest news about 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.
— Now that the coronavirus has been circulating around Maine for more than two months, the ever-growing mass of numbers, anecdotes and other information about the pandemic may be dizzying to anyone without a very strong interest in biology or disease surveillance. Here are some of the most important measures to watch to understand the severity of the coronavirus in Maine.
— A senior residence in Auburn has become the latest long-term care facility in Maine to confirm an outbreak of the coronavirus after three employees and one resident tested positive. Clover Health Care is now working with the Maine CDC to test its staff and residents — around 550 people — for the infection. Only one of the four who have been infected so far have shown any symptoms. Meanwhile, an employee of Birch Bay Retirement Village in Bar Harbor has tested positive for the coronavirus, but all other staff at the facility tested negative during an initial round of testing.
— Hedda Campbell was a server at one of Maine’s most popular restaurants. Her job might be offered back soon. But she wonders if returning is worth it. Restaurant owners around the state are beginning to offer jobs back to servers, bartenders and cashiers laid off at the outset of the pandemic. Facing a compromised tourist season, many believe their old jobs will fundamentally change, with fewer hours, more busywork and less business. That would bring fewer tips, a problem among workers who rely on them to supplement a subminimum wage.
— Crystal Pomerleau, an out-of-work Portland bartender, doesn’t expect her job to return anytime soon. Even when the hospitality industry emerges from restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus, the former bar manager at Three of Strong Spirits in Portland’s Bayside neighborhood believes the profession will be different, with more restrictions, fewer staffers and less volume. “The job I was hired to perform no longer exists,” Pomerleau said.
— A Superior Court justice granted a temporary injunction Friday against Sunday River Brewing Co., the Bethel restaurant owned by Rick and Ron Savage that lost its licenses after defying Democratic Gov. Janet Mills’ executive orders. In his ruling, the judge ordered the restaurant to stay closed until its licenses are reinstated. The injunction was sought by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Rick Savage told a Fox News host that he will remain open, even if it means going to jail.
— Former governor Paul LePage briefly returned to Blaine House on Saturday for a protest of the business restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. LePage did not even appear to leave the vehicle — with its Florida plates — that he drove to the rally.
— The history of the United States and the colonies that formed it has been a 413-year balancing act across an assortment of topics, priorities, passions and ambitions. Now, in the coronavirus era, that tug of war — is it about individuals or the communities to which they belong? — is showing itself in fresh, high-stakes ways. While the catalyst is an unprecedented pandemic, the collision of individual rights and the common good is as old as the republic itself.
— As many lodging businesses look to reopen June 1, around the time when the state’s busy tourist season typically begins, it might be more difficult for homeless Mainers who have been taking refuge at area motels during the pandemic to find other housing.
— As of early Monday morning, the coronavirus has sickened 1,486,742 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 89,564 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
— Elsewhere in New England, there have been 5,797 in Massachusetts, 3,408 in Connecticut, 499 in Rhode Island, 172 in New Hampshire and 53 in Vermont.