Update: There are now 586 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 17 deaths in Maine. Read the latest story here.
Editor’s note: The press conference has been moved from 2:30 to 2:45 p.m.
As of Thursday, there are now 560 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus spread across 15 of Maine’s counties, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Two more Maine residents have died from the coronavirus, bringing the statewide death toll to 16.
Statewide, 105 Maine residents have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, while 202 people have fully recovered from it.
Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and its impact in Maine.
— The Maine CDC and Gov. Janet Mills will provide an update on the coronavirus at 2:30 p.m. The BDN will livestream the briefing.
— Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin ran simulations to calculate the risk in each U.S. county that there are sustained, undetected outbreaks — epidemics — already occurring. The study found that there is a 100 percent probability of an epidemic in Cumberland York counties, and a 98 percent probability in Penobscot and Kennebec counties.
— Maine chocolatiers have reason to celebrate as the Easter and Passover holidays bring booming sales in an economy largely hobbled by the coronavirus spread.
— As of Thursday morning, 97 of the state’s confirmed cases — or 18 percent — had been among people who worked in health care facilities, whether they were hands-on caregivers such as doctors and nurses or support staff such as janitors and administrators. That fact that Maine has that information sets it apart from some larger states that have already been inundated by the pandemic.
— The University of Maine’s campus remains closed, but prospective students can still tour the buildings, classrooms and dorms online. And in admissions offices, higher education institutions in Maine are preparing to be more flexible when evaluating applicants’ academic performance from this semester of remote learning. None of Maine’s seven public universities will require that students applying next school year take either the SAT or ACT standardized tests.
— Maine Medical Center, the Portland hospital at the center of the state’s COVID-19 outbreak, is exploring the possibility of conserving N95 respirator masks by sterilizing and reusing them.
— Maine high school athletes and coaches are disappointed but supportive of the MPA’s decision to cancel the spring sports season after schools close for the rest of the year.
— As of early Friday morning, the coronavirus has sickened 466,4299 people in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Island, as well as caused 16,686 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
— Elsewhere in New England, there have been 503 deaths in Massachusetts, 380 in Connecticut, 43 in Rhode Island, 23 in Vermont and 21 in New Hampshire.
Watch: Nirav Shah on whether you should use fabric masks