17 Confirmed, Presumptive Coronavirus Cases in Maine: CDC

There have been 764 negative test results processed by the state or private laboratories, according to the Maine CDC

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Health officials in Maine say the number of confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases in the state is now at 17.

The Maine Centers for Disease Control announced Monday there were five new cases - three in Cumberland County, one in Knox County and one in Lincoln County.

The other 12 confirmed positive or presumptive positive cases are mainly in Cumberland County. The oldest is an 80-year-old man and the youngest is a 12-year-old boy who health officials say is recovering at home.

There have been 764 negative test results processed by the state or private laboratories, according to Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah. He said, however, the number of positive cases is expected to increase.

Gov. Janet Mills announced Sunday night a state of civil emergency. The declaration allows her administration to take statewide actions in response to the coronavirus.

"This is the only way we're going to reduce the spread," Mills told a group of assembled reporters.

Before President Donald Trump's Monday afternoon request asking all Americans not to gather in groups of ten or more people, Mills initially asked for Mainers not to gather in groups of 50 or more individuals or ten or more elderly or high-risk people.

In addition, she requested Mainers cancel and postpone all non-essential medical appointments or procedures and asked all school districts to end instruction in physical classrooms.

She stopped short of calling for a statewide closure so that rural areas of the state have time to plan ahead and make sure kids who need meal programs at school have an alternative.

"I want to be careful," said Mills. "Schools across Maine are so disparate in size and types of population, transportation needs, issues…"

Also increasing with Maine's case total are the number of the state's businesses who are choosing to close or offer only take-out or delivery for food.

In Portland, Allagash Brewing had closed its tasting room but was offering curbside pick-up, Harmon's Flowers had reduced its owners and Tandem Coffee had closed altogether.

Those moves were followed by a Monday afternoon City of Portland declaration of a city emergency and a decision to put a St. Patrick's Day curfew in place on all businesses where people would gather like bars and restaurants from 6 a.m. on Tuesday to 2 a.m. on Wednesday.

City Manager Jon Jennings said that take-out and delivery would still be allowed but no in-establishment dining.

After Tuesday, Jennings said that a more limited curfew would stay in place from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m. from Wednesday to at least Saturday.

Asked about restaurants on Sunday, Mills said, "using takeout is not a bad idea but we're not ready to shut down the whole restaurant business in Maine."

One Maine town was going to an even more extreme step.

Selectmen on the island of North Haven, off of Rockland in Maine's Penobscot Bay, have determined their limited public infrastructure would prevent them from effectively stopping a COVID-19 outbreak.

Because of that, they have voted to ban anyone who does not live on the island full-time from coming there until a yet-to-be-determined date.

The next public update from Maine state health officials is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Maine's legislature is also expected to adjourn after passing emergency bills Tuesday as well.

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