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Another 44 cases of the new coronavirus have been detected in the state as of Saturday morning and one more Mainer has died after testing positive for COVID-19.
There have now been 1,374 confirmed and likely coronavirus cases across all of Maine’s counties, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The most recent death was a resident of Hancock County, according to the Maine CDC. It’s the first death reported in that county. The statewide death toll now stands at 63.
So far, 194 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Of those, 44 people are currently hospitalized, with 23 in critical care and 10 on ventilators, according to the Maine CDC.
Meanwhile, another 836 people have fully recovered from the coronavirus, meaning there are 475 active and likely cases in the state. That’s down from 481 on Thursday.
Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and its impact on Maine.
—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.
— Mike Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive for coronavirus on Friday, President Donald Trump said, delaying the vice president’s departure for a trip to Iowa. She is the second person working at the executive residence to contract the virus this week.
—Maine is in line to get $20 million to help its fishermen weather the COVID-19 storm, the fifth-highest amount of money out of the 31 states to receive fishing-industry bailout funding.
— Up to 221,000 Maine residents could lose the health insurance they receive through their jobs if unemployment levels this year reach Great Depression heights, ultimately increasing the ranks of Maine’s uninsured by almost 50 percent, a new analysis shows.
—The decision to wear a mask in public is becoming a political statement — a moment to pick sides in a brewing culture war over containing the coronavirus. While not yet as loaded as a “Make America Great Again” hat, the mask is increasingly a visual shorthand for a debate pitting those willing to follow health officials’ guidance and cover their faces against those who feel it violates their freedom or buys into a threat they think is overblown.
—On Friday, Gov. Janet Mills announced that in 12 of the state’s more rural counties, retail establishments would be able to reopen on Monday and restaurants would be able to open for limited dine-in service on May 18, so long as they follow a number of new health guidelines.
— A group of Maine business owners on Friday sued Gov. Janet Mills over her unprecedented shutdown orders to limit the spread of the coronavirus, claiming they are unconstitutional.
— While the full extent of the economic impact that all the licensed sugarhouses around Maine will face from the pandemic is still unknown, it’s likely to take a big bite out of maple syrup consumption this year.
— To survive coronavirus lockdowns, this Richmond food truck set up shop in its owners’ front yard. Then the complaints began.
— As of early Thursday morning, the coronavirus has sickened 1,283,929 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 77,180 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
— Elsewhere in New England, there have been 4,702 coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts, 2,874 in Connecticut, 399 in Rhode Island, 121 in New Hampshire and 53 in Vermont.
Watch: Janet Mills shares changes for rural businesses