Maine Governor Extends Civil State of Emergency

Gov. Janet Mills and CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah provided a coronavirus update on Tuesday

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Maine Gov. Janet Mills extended the state's civil state of emergency until May 15 on Tuesday as the state continues to battle the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Not all of the emergency orders will stay in effect, but the state will have the power to extend them if necessary, according to Mills. The governor did not extend the stay-at-home order that expires at the end of April.

"I wish this proclamation was not necessary, but the continued spread of the virus demands a sustained response by the State,” Mills wrote in a statement.

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Nirav Shah announced the death of a 70-year-old woman from York County during Tuesday's coronavirus update. There have been 20 coronavirus-related fatalities in Maine as of Tuesday.

There are 734 known cases of COVID-19 in Maine as of Tuesday, an increase 36 since Monday, according to Shah.

Maine Center for Disease Control Director Dr. Niraj Shah provided an updated Thursday on the number of coronavirus cases in the state as well as Maine's efforts to get personal protective equipment.

The Maine CDC is investigating three facility-level outbreaks at The Commons at Tall Pines, the Maine Veterans' Homes in Scarborough and the Augusta Center for Health & Rehabilitation, according to Shah.

There have been 24 cases of the virus at Tall Pines, 38 cases at the Maine Veterans' Homes and 63 cases at the Augusta Center, according to Shah. Cases are split between staff and residents at the facilities.

Mills says she has been in communication and coordination with the governors of New Hampshire and Vermont more so than other nearby states, like Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York, because their level of cases, economies and cultures are most similar to Maine.

Opening up Maine's economy is, "quite different then trying to turn the spigot back on in New York City," said Mills.

Maine is preparing to open alternative care sites in Portland and Bangor, according to Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew.

Lambrew says that DHHS prefers to treat people at hospitals and will only open the alternative care sites if necessary. Currently, the Maine health care system and hospitals are able to handle the level of COVID-19 cases without alternative care sites, according to Lambrew.

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