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Real-time Maine coronavirus, COVID-19 updates: 52 dead, 1,056 confirmed, 615 Mainers recovered

There are now 20 confirmed cases at Hope House in Bangor, as well as eight confirmed cases in people affiliated with the Tyson food processing plant in Portland.




2 p.m. Maine CDC update

The Maine CDC is reporting one additional death due to COVID-19, bringing the state total to 52. There are 16 new cases, 1,056 total; 615 people have recovered and 166 people have been hospitalized at some point during their illness. 

The additional death announced Wednesday was a woman in her 70s from Cumberland County.

Credit: NCM

There have now been 151 residents and 81 staff who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 at long-term care facilities where outbreaks have occurred. 29 of Maine's 52 deaths have been among people associated with long-term care facilities where outbreaks have occurred.

Penobscot Community Health Care announced Wednesday that Hope House is experiencing an outbreak associated with COVID-19 confirmed positive cases. 16 new cases were confirmed positive Wednesday morning, bringing the total number of confirmed positive cases for Hope House guests and staff to 20.

Dr. Nirav Shah, Director of the Maine CDC, said he is now aware of eight cases in people affiliated with the Tyson food processing plant in Portland. Dr. Shah said none of the diagnosed individuals are currently working and the Maine CDC has recommended universal screening of all employees.

The Maine CDC, in collaboration with the National Guard and the Maine Department of Transportation, is shipping out more than 11,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) on Wednesday. About 75 percent of that PPE is going to congregate care settings. The remaining 25 percent is going to first responders at the community level.

Dr. Shah said the PPE that Maine CDC has is going to people on the front lines fighting the virus. He said specific businesses in Maine will need to acquire their own masks and face coverings needed to meet health requirements.

When asked about out-of-state residents coming to Maine for Memorial Day weekend, Maine Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Heather Johnson acknowledged Memorial Day likely won't look the same as in years past.

"I think it's unlikely we'll have widespread tourism access by Memorial Day but there may be some smaller things we can come to an agreement on by then and we are working through those," Johnson said.

Johnson said dentist's offices are part of the elective medical procedures and are part of Stage 1 of Governor Janet Mills' administration's reopening plan. 

"As a drinker of Diet Coke, I am particularly focused on when my dentist's office will reopen," Dr. Shah responded with a chuckle. 

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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. 

NEWS CENTER Maine YouTube Coronavirus Playlist

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