maine coronavirus

Maine to Open 2 Coronavirus Alternative Care Sites as 2 More Deaths Reported

519 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the state, according to the Maine CDC

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Two more Maine residents have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths to 12, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

There are now 519 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state as of Tuesday, according to the Maine CDC.

During her Tuesday news conference, Gov. Janet Mills announced the Maine National Guard and the Maine Emergency Management Agency will be setting up two alternative care sites as part of the state's efforts to bolster health care capacity in the face of the pandemic.

"The sites will be set up as soon as next week and to be staffed shortly thereafter," Mills said. "I hope we never use and need these sites, but we can't wait to find out."

The Cross Insurance Arena in Portland will hold at least 100 beds and the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor will hold at least 50 beds, Mills said.

In addition, the governor said the state has 184 beds that can be converted for critical care use.

"For now, adequate hospital beds are available across the state. Those hospital beds remain the first choice for treating all patients in need of in-patient care," Mills said.

The governor said state officials are planning to reschedule Maine's primary election to July 14 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Piscataquis County is the only county in Maine that has not had a confirmed case of coronavirus as of Monday, according to the Maine CDC. The majority of cases continue to be in Cumberland and York counties.

During the news conference, Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav D. Shah discussed the state's modeling process and thanked residents for complying with social distancing guidelines.

On Monday, Maine health officials said they will focus on distributing personal protective equipment to high-risk facilities such as nursing homes, specialized care centers and assisted living centers over the next few days.

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