May 24, 2020
State Latest News | Coronavirus | Bangor Metro | Memorial Day | Today's Paper

May 23 evening update: The latest on the coronavirus and Maine

Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
In this Friday, May 22, 2020 photo, portraits of graduating seniors at Telstar Regional High School are displayed near the school's athletic field in Bethel, Maine. Graduation week plans in early June include a parade and commencement exercise at the Sunday River Ski Resort.

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Another two Mainers have died as health officials on Saturday confirmed that 65 more coronavirus cases have been detected in Maine.

There have now been 2,013 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 1,948 on Friday.

Of those, 1,804 have been confirmed positive, while 209 are likely positive, according to the Maine CDC.

Two more Mainers have died, bringing the statewide death toll to 77.

So far, 243 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Of those, 50 people are currently hospitalized, with 26 in critical care and 11 on ventilators, according to the Maine CDC.

Meanwhile, 1,232 people have fully recovered from the virus, meaning there are 704 active and likely cases in the state, according to the Maine CDC. That’s up from 680 on Friday.

Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and its impact on Maine.

Despite an order from Gov. Janet Mills mandating a 14-day quarantine period for out-of-state visitors, many of those planning to come to Maine this summer say they won’t be following it to the letter if they do.

—Energy demand is down because of the pandemic, but utility bills left unpaid by tens of thousands of people who lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic could drive electricity prices upward in some areas in coming months.

—The Maine Department of Corrections confirmed Friday that a second inmate at a facility in Windham has tested positive for COVID-19. The first prisoner tested positive for the virus on May 19. Since then, universal testing has been implemented, leading to tests on more than 700 prisoners, staff and vendors.

—While even experts disagree on precisely how much testing capacity Maine will need in the future, it is clear that local capacity matters. That’s why the Bangor Daily News asked five different laboratories located in Maine this week to share how many tests they are performing, in addition to how many they could perform, to determine their unused capacity.

More than 700,000 Maine residents received economic impact payments so far, totaling more than $1.2 billion in federal money from a coronavirus-related stimulus bill that has gone directly to households in the state.

—Unemployment for Maine inmates frustrates some. Others wonder why they shouldn’t get the money.

— As of early Saturday morning, the coronavirus has sickened 1,617,838 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 96,802 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.

— Elsewhere in New England, there have been 6,304 coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts, 3,675 in Connecticut, 597 in Rhode Island, 208 in New Hampshire and 54 in Vermont.

Watch: Maine gets funding for coronavirus testing


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