Today is Tuesday. There have now been 2,074 confirmed and likely cases of the new coronavirus in all of Maine’s counties since the outbreak began here in March, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The statewide death toll stands at 78.
So far, 257 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, while 1,290 people have fully recovered from the virus, meaning there are 706 active and likely cases in the state, according to the Maine CDC. That’s down from 714 on Sunday.
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.
— “When the new coronavirus officially arrived in Maine in March, it crept inland and up the coastline, closer to Penobscot County. In Bangor, local officials prepared to curb the spread of the virus, following some of the strictest early measures to shut down public places and encourage people to stay home. But when it came to protecting people who are homeless from getting and spreading infection, city officials clashed with Bangor’s largest shelter, the Hope House Health and Living Center, over how to develop a strategy that was both prudent and fast.” — Callie Ferguson, BDN
— “When Emma Burke was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 29 last Memorial Day weekend, her condition was aggressive. She was put on a steady regimen of medication that has put her in a tentative remission. She still needs regular checkups and MRIs every three months to ensure the medication she takes is working. Her last MRI was supposed to occur in mid-March, but the hospital delayed it to focus efforts on the coronavirus. Burke is now scheduled to see her neurologist in early July — three months behind schedule — and is managing the threat of relapse herself.” — Nick Schroeder, BDN
— “Shannon Shaw’s third-grade class had never used Google Classroom or any other online teaching tool before the coronavirus pandemic. Then, schools shut down in March and had to shift abruptly to remote instruction. For Shaw’s 15 students at Abraham Lincoln School in Bangor, how they’ve learned remotely has changed as the closure has stretched from an initial two-week period to the remainder of the school year.” — Eesha Pendharkar, BDN
— “The state announced last week private campgrounds could open to Maine residents for Memorial Day weekend. The past few days have brought a different — and much more welcome — hubbub, as some of the nearly 300 privately owned campgrounds around the state welcomed visitors once again.” — Abigail Curtis, BDN
— “As construction has been deemed an essential business during Maine’s coronavirus-related economic shutdown, work has continued more or less as usual for thousands of workers, but with added safety measures, personal protective equipment and social distancing. While about one in seven construction workers nationwide have been laid off, Maine has lost construction jobs since February at only about half that rate. Some construction firms are still hiring, but Maine contractors are starting to see the effects of the coronavirus-related economic slowdown.” — Eesha Pendharkar, BDN
— “John Cooper, a music professor at the College of the Atlantic, was thinking of retiring soon. But the economic slowdown reduced his retirement account by $80,000 over one week in March. Now he is teaching lessons over Zoom and planning to work one more year. … The economic downturn from the coronavirus outbreak creates unique problems for Mainers at or nearing retirement age. … Many seniors, like Cooper, have seen their retirement accounts take a significant hit as the stock market plunged dramatically in March due to the virus. Others are struggling to make ends meet and navigate an unemployment system that has challenged many Mainers.” — Jessica Piper, BDN
— “Maine’s top election official is encouraging people to vote via absentee ballot during the July primary election to limit the exposure voters and polling workers have to the coronavirus. The state will still hold in-person balloting July 14 with new social distancing protocols, but it’s easier — and safer — to vote via absentee ballot, Secretary of State Matt Dunlap said this week.” — David Sharp, The Associated Press
— “The risks of reigniting coronavirus outbreaks are complicating efforts to fend off further misery for the many millions who have lost jobs, with a top health expert warning that the world is still in the midst of a “first wave” of the pandemic. … Mindful of the risks, Americans settled for small processions and online tributes instead of parades Monday as they observed Memorial Day in the shadow of the pandemic.” — Elaine Kurtenbach, The Associated Press
— As of early Tuesday morning, the coronavirus has sickened 1,662,768 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 98,223 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
— Elsewhere in New England, there have been 6,416 coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts, 3,742 in Connecticut, 608 in Rhode Island, 210 in New Hampshire and 54 in Vermont.