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Another two Mainers have died as health officials on Friday confirmed 71 more coronavirus cases have been detected in Maine.
There have now been 1,948 cases across all of Maine’s counties since the outbreak began here in March, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from 1,877 on Thursday.
Of those, 1,749 have been confirmed positive, while 199 are likely positive, according to the Maine CDC.
A resident from Aroostook County was among the latest coronavirus-related deaths, the first for The County since the start of the outbreak. The other death involved a resident of Kennebec County, bringing the statewide death toll to 75. The Maine CDC earlier reported three new deaths, but that was later revised down to two.
So far, 240 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Of those, 45 people are currently hospitalized, with 21 in critical care and 12 on ventilators, according to the Maine CDC.
Meanwhile, 1,192 people have fully recovered from the virus, meaning there are 680 active and likely cases in the state, according to the Maine CDC. That’s up from 659 on Thursday.
Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and its impact on Maine.
—A woman in her 80s was the first Aroostook County resident to die from COVID-19, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
—Have you delayed medical care due to the coronavirus? We want to talk to you.
—The City of Bangor plans to temporarily relocate its treasury department to the Cross Insurance Center on Tuesday and the Bangor Public Library will offer curbside book pickup, beginning June 1. The city will offer in-person services for vehicle registrations and utility and tax payments at the Cross Insurance Center’s box office.
—The Hospitality Maine COVID-19 Restaurant Readiness online course launched Friday. It allows Maine’s restaurant workers to earn a “digital badge” — essentially a certificate — that shows they have been trained on the COVID-19 safety measures imposed by the state. The roughly two-hour online course features three modules and requires takers to pass a test.
—The state’s several-year streak of low unemployment ended in April, reflecting activities curtailed by the coronavirus and efforts to contain it, according to information released Friday by the Maine Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Labor. The April rate was 10.6 percent, more than triple the 3.2 percent rate in March, which represented a record 39 consecutive months below 4 percent. The rate, which is the sharpest increase in any April on record, is preliminary and seasonally adjusted.
—About 60 percent of the potatoes produced in Maine and around the country are grown to supply the food-service industries. But with everything from school cafeterias, to sports concessions, to in-flight meals canceled, potato farmers are facing uncertain times in what is already an uncertain business. And many say that they are discouraged by what they are being offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in a federal aid package.
—Video may have killed the radio star, but thanks to a group of Maine actors, the golden age of radio is currently enjoying a bit of a renaissance. Like theater companies around the state, The Midcoast Actors Studio in Belfast was forced to cancel its upcoming season. So to fill the void, they started producing audio podcasts using scripts from 1940s-era radio shows, put them up on their website and made them available for free to the general public.
—Katie Quirk of Orono wrote a story for the BDN chronicling how the coronavirus has brought her neighborhood together for art.
— As of early Friday morning, the coronavirus has sickened 1,598,631 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 95,847 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
— Elsewhere in New England, there have been 6,228 coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts, 3,637 in Connecticut, 579 in Rhode Island, 199 in New Hampshire and 54 in Vermont.
Watch: Maine CDC coronavirus press conference, May 22