As of Saturday afternoon, there are now 70 reported cases of the coronavirus in Maine, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The virus, known as COVID-19, has been detected in eight counties, including a new case in Sagadahoc County.
Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and its impact in Maine.
— In its latest results, the Maine CDC confirms there are now six cases of the virus in OceanView at Falmouth, a retirement community in Cumberland County. That’s up from four on Thursday, and two early last week. Three residents are receiving care at Maine Medical Center and three are recuperating in their homes.
— Meanwhile, at least three people have now recovered from a bout of the coronavirus, according to the Maine CDC.
— The economic pinch from the coronavirus is now being felt across Maine’s fisheries. The lucrative elver fishery was scheduled to open on Sunday, but is being delayed at least two weeks as part of the state’s efforts to halt the coronavirus’ spread. That comes as elver fishermen are concerned that the pandemic might decrease demand in Asia, where the virus was first detected in December in Wuhan, China.
— While restaurants, bars and other businesses close or reduce hours during the pandemic, grocery stores are hiring in droves to keep up as people flock to stores to grab essentials as they prepare for long periods of “social distancing.” The chain Whole Foods, which has a location in Portland, plans to hire 100,000 workers nationwide. That has put grocery workers on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic, and some worry there aren’t enough safeguards in place to protect them from the virus.
— The major U.S. airlines are vying for a bailout as fewer people risk flying and many governments restrict travel, according to NPR. Only about 624,000 people passed through airport security checkpoints Thursday, compared with 2.4 million people on the same day last year, according to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. United Airlines told the federal government that it will slash its payroll up to 60 percent unless Congress approves a massive assistance package to the industry.
— Maine has the highest median age of any state in the U.S., and in Aroostook County, that’s even higher. Many senior citizens already rely on meal delivery programs if they are unable to leave their homes. But many others congregate at dining sites in the area to get their meals — centers where seniors gather in groups to sit and eat together. But with that no longer an option for the time being, delivery services are expected to be the go-to option for all seniors who want meal access.
— Health officials continue to urge people to maintain “social distance” in order to halt the spread of the coronavirus. And with many public spaces closed down, that can lead to a growing sense of isolation. In one Portland neighborhood, three families tried to bridge that distance and bring joy to a trying time with an impromptu performance of two Beatles songs on Saturday morning.
— As of Friday afternoon, the coronavirus has sickened more than 15,200 people in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as caused 201 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.