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Another 34 cases of the new coronavirus have been detected in the state and one more Mainer has died after testing positive for COVID-19.
As of Saturday, there have now been 1,408 confirmed and likely coronavirus cases across all of Maine’s counties, according to Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention spokesperson Robert Long. That’s up from 1,374 on Friday.
The most recent death is a woman who was older than 80 from Waldo County. The statewide death toll now stands at 64.
So far, 198 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Of those, 43 people are currently hospitalized, with 22 in critical care and 10 on ventilators, according to the Maine CDC.
Another 857 people have fully recovered from the coronavirus, meaning there are 487 active and likely cases in the state. That’s up from 475 on Friday.
Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and its impact on Maine.
— A federal judge on Saturday ruled that Gov. Janet Mills’ prohibition on in-person worship services does not violate the First Amendment. Calvary Chapel in Orrington and its pastor, Ken Graves, sued the governor in U.S. District Court in Bangor. The lawsuit alleged that Mills’ order, designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus, violated the freedom of religion and assembly clauses of the First Amendment and other laws designed to protect houses of worship.
—Maine restaurateurs are facing yet another difficult business decision during the novel coronavirus pandemic: whether or not to reopen under a new plan that allows dine-in service in most counties starting May 18, two weeks ahead of the original plan and in time for the Memorial Day holiday.
—The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating three complaints about safety and health standards related to barber shops in Maine during the pandemic.
— Former University of Maine hockey co-captain Brendan Walsh was a feisty, hard-nosed center who helped lead the Black Bears to their second NCAA championship in 1999. The Boston University transfer racked up 767 penalty minutes in 145 American Hockey League games during his last three full pro seasons. But, now that he’s a detective in the Boston Police Department, the trenches he finds himself in today are much more dangerous. Walsh, 45, said dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic has made his job more challenging.
—The shopping and festival-going Mainers have come to expect is likely going to be on the back burner for most of the summer. But there are still thousands of acres of beautiful wilderness to explore, and plenty of places to eat and drink, all of which will allow you to practice social distancing. Here are six day trips you can take all over the state that will allow you to scratch that wandering itch, and still be safe and responsible while doing so.
—With Maine aiming to triple its coronavirus testing capacity by the end of next week, doctors are relieved that more will be diagnosed while warning that more protective equipment will be needed to treat an influx of patients. But doctors are still awaiting new state guidelines on testing and their top Maine advocacy group said supplies of testing equipment and protective gear will need to increase simultaneously as more sick patients come into offices and other restrictions on care lift.
—With tentative promises of a slow re-opening to Maine’s economy, businesses which rely on summer tourism must find creative ways to keep things running, despite mounting uncertainty of what’s to come.
—Mainers eager to dine out once again may flock to restaurants in rural areas allowed to reopen on May 18, but the new norm likely will raise some eyebrows and eateries will be limited due to health requirements. Here’s how eating out will change when some Maine restaurants start dine-in service again.
—Watching a favorite television show from childhood is like meeting up with an old friend. These were the shows and characters people watched growing up with theme songs that can still be sung by heart. So make some popcorn, grab the remote and get ready to beat your pandemic blues with some childhood memories.
— As of early Thursday morning, the coronavirus has sickened 1,305,199 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 78,469 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
—Elsewhere in New England, there have been 4,840 coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts, 2,932 in Connecticut, 418 in Rhode Island, 121 in New Hampshire and 53 in Vermont.
Watch: Janet Mills shares changes for rural businesses