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Another 28 cases of the new coronavirus have been detected in Maine, health officials said Thursday.
There have now been 2,446 cases across all of Maine’s counties since the outbreak began here in March, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from 2,418 on Wednesday.
Of those, 2,181 have been confirmed positive, while 265 are likely positive, according to the Maine CDC.
No new deaths were reported Thursday, leaving the statewide death toll at 95.
So far, 291 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Of those, 35 people are currently hospitalized, with 14 in critical care and 17 on ventilators, according to the Maine CDC.
Meanwhile, 1,739 people have fully recovered from the virus, meaning there are 612 active and likely cases in the state, according to the Maine CDC. That’s down from 624 on Wednesday.
Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and its impact on Maine.
—With the massive influx of unemployment claims resulting from the economic shock caused by the coronavirus pandemic, fraudulent claims have become a major issue. The Maine Department of Labor canceled more than 12,000 initial claims and 17,000 weekly certifications that it found to be fraudulent for the week ending May 30, the department said Thursday.
—Gov. Janet Mills on Thursday said she is allowing more services to resume under health and safety precautions in 13 counties two weeks ahead of schedule on June 12, amid heavy pushes to reopen the economy in areas with low numbers of recorded coronavirus cases. The new order includes tasting rooms and bars that may open for outside service, gyms, fitness centers, nail salons, and tattoo and piercing parlors. Those businesses can reopen in all counties except York, Cumberland and Androscoggin.
—While Maine’s two largest cities of Portland and Lewiston predictably have the most recorded cases of the coronavirus in the state, a small, close-knit northern Penobscot County town has the highest share of cases. Medway has just 1,400 people but 12 recorded cases, meaning it has 8.23 cases for every 1,000 residents.
—A curtailed outdoor concert season, fewer construction permits and less income and sales tax revenue coming in from the state will likely account for a budget shortfall of nearly half a million dollars for the city of Bangor this spring.
— Small-business owners in Maine welcomed changes to a federal loan program that one in 10 of them have signed up for, saying a bill that was sent to President Donald Trump’s desk on Wednesday would provide a lifeline. The U.S. Senate voted Wednesday night to pass the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, a bill that liberalizes the program, extending its coverage period to 24 weeks from eight. Payroll costs, which had to make up 75 percent if the loan to be forgiven, now are 60 percent.
—Smaller classes in large spaces, sports events and performances without audiences, and the widespread use of face coverings are some of the measures colleges and universities in Maine are looking to implement as they plan for an in-person return to campus this fall.
—Eric Pray is used to shipping seafood all over the country. But since the coronavirus took hold, he has shifted his focus closer to home — selling lobsters from a homemade tank in his garage. Pray of Portland is one of hundreds of fishermen, farmers and food producers who have shifted to a direct-to-consumer model amid the virus outbreak. The pandemic has stressed and sometimes disrupted supply chains, shuttered restaurants and changed the way consumers buy food, leaving some producers scrambling for a new way to reach their customers.
— As of Thursday evening, the coronavirus has sickened 1,867,595 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 107,979 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
— Elsewhere in New England, there have been 7,201 coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts, 4,007 in Connecticut, 756 in Rhode Island, 265 in New Hampshire and in 55 in Vermont.
Watch: Maine CDC press conference, June 4