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Maine coronavirus updates: Tuesday, April 14

Maine CDC reports 734 confirmed Maine coronavirus cases, 292 recoveries, and 20 deaths due to COVID-19.

MAINE, USA — KEY MAINE CORONAVIRUS FACTS

LATEST CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

TUESDAY APRIL 14 2:15 p.m.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah and Gov. Janet Mills are holding a remote briefing to give updates. The Maine CDC is reporting an additional death from COVID-19, bringing the state total to 20. There are 734 confirmed cases, up 36 from Monday, and 292 recoveries. 

Dr. Shah reports the newly announced death from COVID-19 was a woman in  her 70s from York County. 

There are currently 37 individuals hospitalized in regular beds, 21 are in intensive care, and nine are on ventilators.

The Maine CDC has fielded 4,751 consultations.

There are currently three outbreaks at long-term care facilities across the state. At the Tall Pines facility in Waldo County, there are 24 total cases of COVID-19: 19 are residents and five are staff. At the Maine Veterans' Home in Scarborough, there are 38 cases split among residents and staff, an increase of six since Monday. At the Augusta Center for Health and Rehabilitation, there is a total of 63 cases, an increases of eight cases since yesterday. 

Dr. Shah said right now one of the top priorities of the state lab in Augusta is to assist facilities with rapid testing, preparing kits that can be distributed across facilities so tests can be done quickly. 

The Maine CDC is able to conduct tests and deliver results within 24 hours, and there is currently no backlog of tests. Overall, the testing capacity at the Augusta lab remains approximately 3,000 tests. Dr. Shah said, however, they are aware of challenges in obtaining chemical supplies needed to complete the tests at a national level.

"For generations, resilience has defined the character of the Maine people, newcomers and old timers alike," Gov. Mills said, going through accounts of Maine storms and tragedies over the years. "[...] faced with this new challenge of COVID-19, Maine people are once again pulling together even as we stay apart."

Mills signed a proclamation extending the state of emergency, which would have expired tomorrow, to May 15. The power to extend the statewide stay-at-home order is given with the state of emergency proclamation, but Mills said that order will be evaluated and has not been further extended yet. 

"I sure wish that this proclamation were not necessary, but the continued spread of this deadly virus demands our sustained response," Mills said. She said remaining in the state of emergency keeps Maine on high alert, and allows her to deploy necessary resources to protect the health and safety of Maine people. It also eases Maine's access to critical federal aid. 

RELATED: Governor Mills extends 'civil state of emergency' due to coronavirus, COVID-19

MAINE CDC CORONAVIRUS BRIEFINGS

"I don't think it's necessary to respond to [statements coming from the White House]," Mills said when asked about President Trump's comments yesterday that it would be up to him, not governors, to reopen the country. Mills said she continues to have conversations with other governors and leaders about how to continue working together during the health crisis. Mills said she continues to work with governors from Vermont and New Hampshire, specifically, because of shared economic foundations. 

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew said they have identified uses for the alternative care sites that were set up at the Cross Insurance buildings in Portland and Bangor last week. 

The alternative care site in Portland will be used for people with COVID-19 who don't require intense care, post acute care, or people who can't go home or find different placement. In Bangor, the site will be use for people who do not have COVID-19--people who need to be kept out of a health care setting to avoid potential infection.

Lambrew said they have begun setting up beds at those care sites and are very close to finalizing staffing plans. That being said, their goal remains to keep people in hospitals wherever possible, so at this point the care sites are being set up for planning purposes, but there's no need for them today.

TUESDAY APRIL 14 11:45 a.m.

The Maine CDC is reporting an additional death from COVID-19, bringing the state total to 20. There are 734 confirmed cases, up 36 from Monday, and 292 recoveries.

Tuesday's Maine CDC and Gov. Janet Mills will hold a briefing at 2 p.m. NEWS CENTER Maine will carry the press conference on-air, website, mobile app, YouTube channel, Facebook page and Twitter

Credit: NCM

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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. You can find all the previous Maine CDC briefings here.

NEWS CENTER Maine YouTube Coronavirus Playlist