Staff at ME State Emergency Ops Center Test Negative For COVID-19
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah announced during today's virtual Maine COVID-19 briefing that all 7 staff members at the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Augusta that reported flu-like symptoms Thursday, tested negative for COVID-19.
Three staff members from MEMA, two from the Maine CDC, and two National Guard members called out sick Thursday after experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms overnight. In response, the operations center went into virtual mode with the Maine CDC briefing and no employees will be at the center today.
In an abundance of caution, the SECO remains in virtual mode while they take all precautions necessary to make the facility safe for staff.
Dr. Nirav Shah announced that the total number of cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Maine is now at 2,226, an increase of 37 since Thursday. 1,971 of those cases are confirmed while 255 are deemed probable.
1,458 people diagnosed with COIVD-19 have recovered, an increase of 56.
One new deaths was reported, bringing the total number to 85.
The total number of active cases is 683, a decrease of 20.
270 patients have had to be hospitalized at some point. 53 are currently hospitalized with 18 of those in critical care and 12 patients on ventilators.
A new statistic that is now being reported by the Maine CDC is the number of tests for COVID-19 that have been performed. This will replace the stat of how many individuals have been tested. That weekly reported cumulative number of tests that have been performed is 49,792. That number is updated each Wednesday.
Governor Janet Mills extended Maine's State of Emergency to June 11 allowing the state government to use resources to protect the health and safety of Mainers and to continue to receive Federal resources. The extension does not affect the timing of the phased Stay Safer at Home Order is currently in effect through May 31.
Phase 1 of Maine's four phase plan to reopen the state continues the prohibition on gatherings of more than 10 people. People who are able to work from home should continue to do so, and people should wear cloth face coverings in public settings where physical distancing measures are hard to maintain.
If the Maine CDC detects any resurgence of the virus, the state will slow down the stages and reinstate restrictions.
On May 8, Governor Janet Mills announced a plan to allow certain businesses to open in designated counties beginning May 11.
The counties affected by the rural reopening plan are Aroostook, Piscataquis, Washington, Hancock, Somerset, Franklin, Oxford, Kennebec, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln and Sagadahoc. All of these counties have not had shown evidence of community transmission of COVID-19.
Retail stores in these counties may now open to customers provided they adopt the health and safety precautions that the state is releasing. The precautions include restricting the number of customers in the store at any one time, enhancing cleaning and sanitation practices, and maximizing touch free transactions wherever possible.
Restaurants in these counties may open for outdoor dining and for limited dine-in service providing they adopt health and safety precautions, such as physically distancing customers, making sure employees follow enhanced hygiene and sanitation practices and controlling customer flow by making reservations only whenever possible.
Remote campsites and sporting camps may reopen with public safe guards.
The statewide plan to re-open has had some minor adjustments as well. Fitness and exercise centers statewide are now be permitted to open for outdoor classes of 10 people or less or for one-on-one personal training instruction inside.
<a href="https://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/news/governor-mills-presents-safe-gradual-plan-restart-maines-economy-2020-04-28">For a more complete listing of the stages and the governor's layout of those stages, click here.</a>
<a href="https://www.maine.gov/decd/covid-19-prevention-checklists" target="_blank">Click or tap here to see the state's modified COVID-19 prevention checklist.</a>
If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, including a runny nose, sore throat, dry cough, fever and in severe cases, difficulty breathing, the Maine CDC says you should call your doctor before going in so that they can prepare for your arrival. The Maine CDC continues to update with new information daily. Keep checking on our mobile app or website to get the latest.