Today is Wednesday. There have now been 2,819 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.
Tuesday saw the fewest new daily cases — nine — since April 27, when eight infections were confirmed. No new deaths were reported on Tuesday. In the past week, only one death has been confirmed.
So far, 321 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, while 2,233 people have fully recovered from the virus, meaning there are 485 active and likely cases in the state, according to the Maine CDC. That’s down from 520 on Monday.
A majority of the cases have been in Mainers under 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 at 2 p.m. The BDN will livestream the briefing.
— “Twelve of Maine’s 16 counties are now reporting fewer than 10 active cases of the virus, including three — Piscataquis, Aroostook and Washington counties — with zero. The prevalence of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, also seems to finally be dropping in more heavily populated southern Maine counties even as the state has ramped up testing in recent weeks.” — Charles Eichacker, BDN
— “Wednesday marks a major milestone in Maine’s gradual economic reopening as restrictions lift on restaurants and other businesses in the three counties where the majority of Maine’s coronavirus cases have been concentrated. … Here is a guide to Wednesday’s reopenings.” — Michael Shepherd, BDN
— “As businesses reopen across the U.S. after coronavirus shutdowns, many are requiring customers and workers to sign forms saying they won’t sue if they catch COVID-19, the illness caused by the new virus. … Critics argue that liability waivers open the door for corporations to skirt protocols like erecting Plexiglas barriers, providing face masks and other protective equipment and keeping people the proper distance apart without suffering any repercussions.” — Tom Krisher and Mark Sherman, The Associated Press
— “Workers who rely on direct deposit for their unemployment benefits did not see usual payments on Tuesday morning due to what the Maine Department of Labor described as an “unprecedented volume” of claims. The department said Tuesday morning that benefits might be delayed by 24 hours. Benefits were delayed for a similar reason the first week of April.” — Jessica Piper, BDN
— “While Ntension is far from the only company that has pivoted to mask-making during the pandemic — Maine-based L.L. Bean and New Balance also started using their manufacturing facilities to make masks — it stands out as a company that now sees the manufacturing of PPE as a permanent part of its business model.” — Emily Burnham, BDN
— “At a time when the remaining restaurants across the state prepare to reopen indoor dining Wednesday under health and spacing guidelines, one Maine chain has fared comparatively well during pandemic restrictions. Portland Pie Co., which has five company-owned restaurants and two franchises, plans to open another location in Windham next week and start construction on one in Lewiston in the fall, its owner said. It also is scouting an Augusta location.” — Lori Valigra, BDN
— “Bangor will reopen its playgrounds, parks and basketball courts starting Wednesday due to Penobscot County’s low number of active cases of COVID-19.” — Nick Sambides Jr., BDN
— “Researchers in England say they have the first evidence that a drug can improve COVID-19 survival: A cheap, widely available steroid called dexamethasone reduced deaths by up to a third in severely ill hospitalized patients.” — Marilynn Marchione, The Associated Press
— As early Wednesday morning, the coronavirus has sickened 2,137,731 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 116,963 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
— Elsewhere in New England, there have been 7,664 coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts, 4,210 in Connecticut, 865 in Rhode Island, 326 in Connecticut and 55 in Vermont.