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There have now been 1,040 confirmed coronavirus cases across all of Maine’s counties, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from 1,023 on Monday.
The statewide death toll stands at 51. No new deaths were reported Tuesday.
So far, 163 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Of those, 33 people are currently hospitalized, with 17 in critical care and seven on ventilators, according to the Maine CDC.
Meanwhile, another 585 people have fully recovered from the coronavirus, meaning there are 404 active cases in the state. That’s down from 423 on Monday.
Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and its impact on Maine.
— Certain Maine businesses can reopen on Friday as part of a gradual plan to lift coronavirus-related restrictions, though many businesses could remain closed deep into the summer, Gov. Janet Mills said Tuesday as she outlined her plan to open Maine’s economy.
—The forgivable federal loans aimed at helping Maine businesses stay afloat and pay their employees have unexpectedly caused a conundrum for some owners who are holding off on rehiring workers and others who are considering giving back all or part of the money. At the heart of the problem are the conditions on how and when the money can be spent in a way that the business owners can get the loan forgiven. Many say the U.S. Small Business Administration still hasn’t provided clear guidelines on forgivable uses of the money.
— The nationwide foodservice shutdown has left Aroostook’s potato industry struggling. About 12-15 percent of potatoes from the 2019 harvest have gone unsold so far, and because of the steep decline in demand for the 2019 crop, farmers’ spring potato planting likely will be down at least 5,000 acres — about a 10 percent drop in acreage since last year.
— Calais Regional Hospital is cutting its full-time workforce by about 10 percent as it contends with bankruptcy and the pandemic, the hospital said in a memo sent to employees on Monday. It marks the latest in a long series of reductions to staff and services at the critical access hospital, which has continued to operate in the red year after year.
—Self-employed workers and independent contractors will be able to apply for federally funded unemployment benefits starting on Friday, the Maine Department of Labor announced on Tuesday. Unincorporated self-employed workers make up about 10 percent of Maine’s labor force, and are ineligible for traditional unemployment benefits, which are paid for by taxes on employers.
—Gov. Janet Mills’ order Monday that state agencies freeze spending and hiring except for emergencies could free up to $252 million in unspent funds to help shore up a state budget likely to be thrown out of balance as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s likely not all of the money will be available.
—The Portland City Council voted unanimously Monday night to extend the city’s emergency stay-at-home order put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The order has been extended through May 18.
— As of early Tuesday morning, the coronavirus has sickened 1,010,717 people in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as caused 58,365 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
— Elsewhere in New England, there have been 3,153 coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts, 2,089 in Connecticut, 239 in Rhode Island, 60 in New Hampshire and 47 in Vermont.
Watch: Gov. Janet Mills, Maine CDC press conference, April 28