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All Non-Essential Maine Businesses Mandated to Close as Coronavirus Cases Jump to 118

While the majority of cases are in Cumberland County, the virus has now been detected in Waldo County

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Nearly a dozen new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Maine overnight, according to the state's director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tuesday's number of coronavirus cases jumped to 118, an increase of 11 from the day before, Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah said at a joint news conference with Gov. Janet Mills.

Gov. Janet Mills of Maine mandates all non-essential businesses to close after 118 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the state. Fifteen of those cases are hospitalized, 7 have recovered.

Shah added that of the cases, 15 people have been hospitalized.

"Seven of those cases have been released from isolation and have fully recovered," Shah said. "We now, statewide, are reporting cases in 10 counties."

One of the new counties the virus has been found is Waldo, Shah said. The majority of the state's coronavirus cases are in Cumberland County.

The cases detected, Shah said, only represent "the tip of the iceberg."

"There have been questions as to whether individuals should start taking action. Given what we are detecting, in any outbreak is only the tip of the iceberg. Now is the time to start taking public health action," Shah said.

As the cases in Maine continue to grow, Mills on Tuesday announced new restrictions on "non-essential" businesses, similar to what Massachusetts has done. The mandate goes into effect at noon Wednesday.

"I am mandating that all non-essential businesses close physical locations that are public-facing," Mills said. "(This) also closes non-essential businesses/sites where more than 10 workers are gathering and social distancing is not practical."

Mills said only businesses that do not involve in-person contact and gatherings can continue to operate

"We're considering all kinds of steps, every hour on the hour frankly," Mills said. "This is the action I choose to take today."

As the number of COVID-19 cases grows in Maine, leaders on the island of North Haven have decided to ban anyone who isn't a full-time resident.

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