AUGUSTA, Maine — The cases of COVID-19 in Maine increased again Tuesday, with a total of 519 positive tests to date, 99 people hospitalized and 176 who have recovered. 

And while the number of people hospitalized in Maine is still much smaller than many other states, there is still concern within the CDC and the Mills administration about the possibility for the numbers to suddenly spike. That concern is driving the administration to order the creation of more hospital space, in case it's needed.

Gov. Janet Mills on Tuesday said she had instructed the Maine National Guard to assemble alternative medical facilities on Portland and Bangor, away from hospitals, at the two largest arenas in Maine, the Cross Arena in Portland and the Cross Center in Bangor. 

“We will stand up Portland… with a capacity for 100 Beds at Cross Arena, and then stand up at the Cross Center in Bangor which will hold fifty beds.”

 Mills said that for now there are adequate hospital beds around the state and that actual hospital beds are still the first choice “or all individuals needing care.”

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The additional facilities, the Governor said, are a precaution, in case the pandemic in Maine becomes much worse. 

Those facilities will be assembled from a store of medical beds and equipment the Maine National Guard has had since Hurri8cane Sandy, and will be set up inside the two areas. Much of the equipment will be included, with additional supplies provided by the Maine CDC and some health care providers. Mills said local health care facilities will provide the staff for those two facilities I and when it is needed. 

 A spokeswoman for Maine Emergency Management said Tuesday it still had not been determined whether those Bangor and Portland facilities will be used for patients with COVID-19, or for people with other medical needs.

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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