MAINE, USA — EVERY NUMBER IS A LIFE: Celebrating the life of loved ones during the faceless anonymity of Maine coronavirus COVID fatalities.
KEY MAINE CORONAVIRUS FACTS
- Read Governor Janet Mills' plan to reopen rural Maine
- 69 Mainers have died out of 1,603 COVID-19 cases. 1,437 of these cases are confirmed by test and 166 are probable.
- 211 Mainers have been hospitalized, 993 Mainers have recovered. The trend remains more recoveries and fewer hospitalizations.
- Governor Janet Mills has extended Maine's statewide stay-safer-at-home order to May 31
- Gov. Mills extended the state of emergency proclamation to June 11.
- Read Maine Governor Janet Mills' detailed plan to reopen Maine economy during coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic
- Read Maine Phase 1 COVID-19 Prevention Checklist to help business reopen with reduced coronavirus restrictions
- A timeline of the coronavirus pandemic in Maine
- Filing for unemployment still dominating discussions around Maine. Here's our story on how to file for Maine unemployment. You can scroll down for more resources available to Mainers
- Local businesses are the backbones of our communities. NEWS CENTER Maine cares about our state and asks that you support your local business and restaurants right now. If you are a business owner, please register your business. If you want to support a local business, enter your zip code and find out what’s OPEN NEAR YOU.
- Subscribe to 'break time with NEWS CENTER Maine' our new newsletter. Delivered to your email inbox for your break time.
FRIDAY MAY 15
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah provides coronavirus update. Commissioner Pender Makin of the Maine Department of Education is also at the briefing to answer questions. We are broadcasting the briefing live on-air as well as streaming here and on our mobile app, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages.
The Maine CDC is reporting an increase of 38 cases since Thursday for a total of 1,603 total cases: 1,437 are confirmed and 166 are probable.
Thirty-five people are currently in the hospital: 16 are in intensive care, and 19 are in non-intensive care. Eight individuals are currently on ventilators.
Of the 1,603 total cases, 354 are among health care workers.
The Maine CDC is continuing to set up its lab for expanded testing capabilities, and Dr. Shah says by Monday the lab will be online with the new testing materials and reagents provided by IDEXX.
Dr. Shah says in addition to the Maine CDC investigating the accuracy of Abbott Labs' rapid testing device, the US FDA has raised questions about its accuracy. Dr. Shah says that what they do know is that positive results are accurate, but for negative results in general, the science is still out. If a physician has a patient whose clinical suspicion for COVID-19 is high, meaning they show symptoms, they should interpret a negative result from the Abbott test with a question mark, and treat them as if they are positive. The Maine CDC also requests that they send another swab sample to the state lab for confirmation.
The State has already received 10 cases of the drug remdesivir from the federal government—which has already been distributed to hospitals—and this morning was given notice that Maine would be receiving an additional seven cases today. The shipment came in and is already being transported to hospitals across the state.
Overall, the seven cases are expected to treat approximately 35 patients. Studies have shown that the drug is effective in helping severe cases of COVID-19.
RELATED: VERIFY: What is remdesivir?
There are now two additional facilities with outbreaks that have now gone more than one incubation period without recording any new COVID-19 cases. Dr. Shah says this is a brand new development and he will have more information about that later today or tomorrow.
The Maine CDC had identified a new outbreak at the Durgin Pines long-term care facility in Kittery. There are three confirmed cases at the facility.
Commissioner Pender Makin of the Maine Department of Education announced the State has secured internet connectivity for nearly 22,000 Maine students who previously had no way to connect for remote learning.
Makin says 100% of the students who have reported through their schools a lack of connectivity have now been connected through this effort.
Makin says the Department of Education has purchased six months' worth of connectivity service for students who needed connectivity. The top priority, Makin says, is to get students back to school for in-person instruction when it's safe, but are preparing for all scenarios.
The Maine CDC is reporting 1,603 total cases: 1,437 are confirmed and 166 are probable.
The number of people who have died with COVID-19 remains at 69.
A total of 993 people have recovered. There are 211 cumulative hospitalizations.
- Watch live: President Trump to deliver remarks on coronavirus vaccine efforts
- House to vote Friday on new stimulus plan with another $1,200 to Americans
- Pride Portland! postpones June Pride Parade & Festival to August
- Augusta coffee shop, local businesses partner up to stay afloat during coronavirus, COVID-19
- Maine nonprofit builds website to connect community during coronavirus, COVID-19
- UPDATE: The Economic Development Committee passes City of Portland's plan to close downtown streets for open-air market
- Face mask that lights up when it detects coronavirus being developed
- The long-term effect social distancing during coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic may have on kids, including depression and anxiety
- Coronavirus whistleblower warns Congress that US lacks plan for vaccine
- Maine tourism groups call for an end to 14-day quarantine rule for out-of-state visitors
- "That's the right way to go about it." Hayes Unfinished Furniture is back to work after proposing a reopen plan to the state
- VERIFY: House bill doesn't enforce mandatory at-home testing or forcibly remove people for quarantine
- NYSE to partially reopen trading floor after Memorial DayGetting back to business: Maine courts start planning 'new normal'
- Maine lodging businesses can begin accepting out-of-state reservation
- Watch Big Papi's Planet Fitness virtual 'work-in'
- COVID-19 patient is closer to recovery after receiving plasma donation
- Portland's 4th of July fireworks celebration cancelled due to coronavirus, COVID-19
- Maine state of emergency extended through June 11
- Matt Damon describes 'fairy tale' lockdown life in Ireland amid virus outbreak
- Maine sees 21,000 initial unemployment claims as new compensation program is in place
- Maine union workers ask congressional leaders to prioritize state, local funding in HEROES Act
Dr. Nirav Shah made clear that when the Maine CDC reports deaths, they are reporting that someone has died who had been confirmed positive with COVID-19, not the cause of death specifically. The cause of death determination is left to the medical examiner.
According to Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah, as of a few days ago, there were roughly 2,900 Mainers tested each week. This includes people tested through the state lab in Augusta, as well as large commercial testing companies like LabCorp. Dr. Shah said right now, the positivity rate is over 5%, meaning for every 100 people tested, about 5 or 6 are positive. Compared to other states, whose positivity rates are 10 or 15%, Maine is doing better, Dr. Shah says. He says he'd like to see Maine's positivity rate around 2%, which is what South Korea's is. To do that, Dr. Shah says testing must increase two or three-fold.
- Maine food resources and retail adjustments
- How to file for Maine unemployment
- Will you get a stimulus check if you receive Social Security or disability, or didn’t file a tax return?
- Stimulus check calculator: See how much you'll likely be getting
- Millions of Americans will soon get stimulus checks. But here's who won't.
- Maine small businesses can apply for 'forgivable loans'
- Maine school and business closings
- What shelter-in-place, stay-at-home orders mean
- What Homeland Security deems 'essential businesses'
MAINE CDC BRIEFINGS
Coronavirus, COVID-19 Background
The official name for the coronavirus is “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes is named “coronavirus disease 2019” or “COVID-19” for short. Coronavirus is a family of viruses, which can infect people and animals. The viruses can cause the common cold or more serious diseases like SARS, MERS, and COVID-19.
The CDC says symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and in some cases sore throat.
The CDC says there are simple steps to take to reduce the possible spread of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Stay home while you're sick and avoid close contact with others
The Maine Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced on Tuesday, March 10 that they would be holding daily coronavirus briefings with director Dr. Nirav Shah to keep the public up to date on the situation in Maine.