In Maine, Coronavirus Cases Increase to 376

So far, seven people in the state have died from COVID-19

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The number of Maine residents infected with the novel coronavirus increased to 376 on Thursday, up 32 cases from the day before, according to health officials.

In a news conference, Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Centers for Disease Control, said no new deaths had been reported. So far, seven people in the state had died from COVID-19.

Of the confirmed coronavirus cases, 68 people had been hospitalized due to the virus and 94 people have recovered.

Shah provided an update on the state's effort to acquire personal protective equipment and said the Maine CDC has placed and order for 300,000 KN-95 masks from a state vendor.

"We are also preparing to make a very large distribution of personal protective equipment starting tomorrow working with our colleagues at the Department of Transportation," Shah said.

In preparing for what is expected to be additional cases in the state, Shah said there are 285 ICU beds in Maine, 122 of which are available.

The state currently has 334 ventilators of which only 266 are available. There are also 186 alternative ventilators available which are authorized for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Shah said.

"Where we are in the outbreak, a lot of folks are looking for quick answers. But unfortunately, those might not yet exist," Shah said. "And into that vacuum can often come fear, misinformation or outright mistruths that can spread far more quickly than the virus itself."

Maine Gov. Janet Mills issued a mandatory stay-at-home order which went into effect Thursday. The order, which is in place until at least April 30, prohibits residents from leaving their homes except for essential needs and tasks like exercise and grocery shopping. Mills said the measures were necessary to further protect Mainers from the new coronavirus.

"We are in the midst of one of the greatest public health crises this world has seen in more than a century," Mills said Wednesday. "Saving lives will depend on us."

Mills also ordered that all schools in the state remain shut until May 1.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills' stay-at-home order goes into effect at midnight Wednesday night, along with several other orders meant to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
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