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Another 18 cases of the new coronavirus have been detected in Maine, health officials reported Monday.
There have now been 2,588 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 2,570 on Sunday.
No new deaths were reported Monday, leaving the statewide death toll at 99.
Here’s a roundup of the latest news about the coronavirus and its impact in Maine.
— “Two months after issuing an executive order that all out-of-state visitors must quarantine for 14 days or face a misdemeanor charge, Gov. Janet Mills on Monday relaxed restrictions on tourists meant to stop the pandemic spread.” — Lori Valigra, BDN
— “The Guilford factory that produces the nasal swabs that are sorely needed to control the coronavirus pandemic had to stall its production of the swabs all Friday ahead of a visit by President Donald Trump, then throw away the swabs that were made during his tour, according to a report by USA Today.” — Charles Eichacker, BDN
— “Maine people considered at elevated risk of contracting the coronavirus will be able to get tested without a doctor’s order as part of another testing expansion that will let the state run 25,000 more coronavirus tests per week.” — Caitlinn Andrews, BDN
— “A federal judge in Bangor ruled Monday that there are too few coronavirus cases in state prisons to warrant reviewing every inmate at higher risk from the virus for release without further evidence that their rights are being violated.” — Caitlin Andrews, BDN
— “The owners of four restaurants in southern Maine counties still under a shutdown order, but located near rural counties that have already opened dining rooms to customers, on Monday sued Gov. Janet Mills in York County Superior Court, asking a judge to allow them to open immediately.” — Judy Harrison, BDN
— “There are no more active cases of the coronavirus associated with the Hope House Health and Living Center in Bangor, officials said Monday. The announcement marks the end of the city’s only outbreak to date and the largest to affect a Maine homeless shelter.” — Callie Ferguson, BDN
— “When Keighan Robichaud learned that the coronavirus had arrived in Maine in mid-March, posing a particular risk to the elderly, he worried what would happen to his two youngest children if his grandparents fell ill. Robichaud’s grandparents are caring for his 4-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, while he completes a three-year sentence at the Maine State Prison for selling drugs in Aroostook County. Robichaud, 24, is scheduled to be released in mid-June, but back in March he wondered if the state might consider releasing him early so he could be there for his children in case his grandparents got sick.” — Callie Ferguson, BDN
— “Four businesses in Portland have found a way to beat coronavirus restrictions that would otherwise keep them closed by reclassifying themselves as a type of businesses allowed to reopen.” — Nick Sambides Jr. BDN
— “Maine regulators are attempting to address a meat processing bottleneck in the food supply chain by adding three new processors to the state’s food system. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry said it authorized 90-day grants of inspection to custom slaughter operations in Crystal, Etna and Alexander. The facilities in Crystal and Alexander will be the first inspected livestock slaughterhouses in Aroostook and Washington counties, the department said.” — The Associated Press
— “While restaurants, shops and lodging establishments are already feeling the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, another sector of the tourism economy in Maine is bracing for a rocky summer. Normally, communities located along the famous Appalachian Trail welcome thousands of long-distance hikers every summer, offering shelter and supplies to those endeavoring to complete the famous 2,190-mile trail. But this year, everything has changed. Due to the pandemic, most hikers have postponed their treks, leaving trailside towns wondering how the decrease in business and absence of trail culture will impact their communities. Hostels, inns, shuttle services, gear shops, grocery stores and restaurants are all expected to take a hit.” — Aislinn Sarnacki, BDN
— Watch: “Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, speaks about Frances Jordan Banks, a 102-year-old World War II Army nurse who was born during the 1918 flu Spanish flu pandemic and died of COVID-19.” — Natalie Williams, BDN
— As of Monday evening, the coronavirus has sickened 1,956,499 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 110,932 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
— Elsewhere in New England, there have been 7,316 coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts, 4,071 in Connecticut, 799 in Rhode Island, 286 in New Hampshire and 55 in Vermont.