coronavirus in new england

Maine Reports 1st Case of COVID-19

The person who tested positive is a woman in her 50s from Androscoggin County

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Officials in Maine on Thursday announced the state's first presumptive case of the novel coronavirus.

The person who tested positive is a woman in her 50s from Androscoggin County who is quarantined at home, Gov. Janet Mills and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in a joint news conference.

Test results on other individuals are pending, officials said.

“The Maine CDC has been preparing for this eventuality since the end of last year,” Mills said. “With one presumptive positive case, Maine has a unique window of opportunity to delay an outbreak, like those we see in other states, and to minimize our exposure.”

Mills has proclaimed an insurance emergency to improve access to care and require private health insurance plans to cover costs related to coronavirus testing.

She also said non-essential out-of-state business for state workers would be suspended and recommended a halt on large public gatherings.

"Gatherings of 250 or more people – for the next 30 days – this is a recommendation not a mandate," Mills said.

The governor's remarks come a day after the University of Maine Orono, the University of Southern Maine and Bowdoin College all moved classes online.

But officials said much of the state's concern is for older adults in group care in which federal guidance has been provided.

"That guidance included common sense things – making sure everyone who comes to visit - doesn't have symptoms," said Nirav D. Shah, Director of the Maine CDC.

Maine was the last state in New England to report a presumptive case of COVID-19.

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