Commercial Street is nearly devoid of pedestrians and traffic, just hours before a stay-at-home order goes into effect, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, that will close all but essential workplaces in the city in Portland, Maine. City officials say residents must shelter in place starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Maine has reached 118 coronavirus cases, the majority in Cumberland and York counties. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty | AP

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Nirav Shah’s roughly hourlong press conferences each day bring thousands of Maine viewers to their screens. On April 9, the director of the Maine Center for Disease Control informed Mainers there are 23 new cases and two new deaths, bringing the total in Maine to 560 and 16 respectively.

[Our COVID-19 tracker contains the most recent information on Maine cases by county]

Shah then provided further updates and took media questions. Here are some highlights.

Nirav Shah talks about the situation at Tall Pines

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The coronavirus outbreak at Tall Pines Retirement and Health Care Community is worsening, Shah informed reporters Thursday. The number of confirmed cases at Tall Pines continues to climb, with a total of 10 residents and three staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19. A woman in her 80s who was a resident of the long-term care facility in Belfast died after testing positive for the virus, officials announced Wednesday.

Maine’s interstate traffic is down 53 percent

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Shah also took a moment to share Maine Department of Transportation data on how many cars are on the road. On Interstate 95 at the Kittery-New Hampshire border, there was a 61 percent reduction in traffic last week compared with the same time in 2019. “Right now, staying inside and introducing physical distance is the best vaccine we’ve got,” Shah said.

Nirav Shah on tracing the origins of coronavirus cases in Maine

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And finally, Shah explained how contact tracing has allowed the Maine CDC to track the origins of cases when they are not the result of community spread. He referenced one instance where a single salesperson caused a “cluster” of cases early on in Maine and may have infected people in other states.

Watch the full April 9 Maine CDC press conference here

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