A person affiliated with the DHHS office in Lewiston has tested positive for COVID-19, causing the office to shut down.

Maine CDC director Dr. Nirav Shah reported that just 12 minutes before Wednesday's press conference that they received confirmation that someone linked to the Lewiston DHHS office has a confirmed case of COVID-19. An investigation is underway and the DHHS office has been closed to protect the safety and health of the public and DHHS employees while the investigation is proceeding.

Dr. Shah also announced that the number of COVID-19 cases in Maine is now is at 142, which is an increase of 24 cases since Tuesday. 15 people are currently hospitalized and 7 have recovered.

Cumberland County has the most cases in Maine at 87 with five that have recovered there. There have been 3177 negative test results.

Here's the official breakdown of coronavirus cases by county as of Wednesday from the Maine CDC website.

 

Maine CDC

 

An Executive Order from Governor Mills is now in effect for all non-essential businesses in Maine to close their physical locations that allow "customer, vendor or other in-person contact" and "non-essential business sites that require more than 10 workers to convene in a space where physical distancing is not possible."

The City of Portland has also issued stay-at-home emergency order that goes into effect on Wednesday at 5 PM and lasts for 5 days. It states that "all individuals currently living within the City of Portland are ordered to stay at their place of residence. To the extent individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces, they must at all times as reasonably possible maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from any other person with whom they don’t share a household when they are outside their residence. All persons may leave their residences only to access COVID-19 Essential Services or as otherwise expressly provided herein. All travel including, but not limited to, travel on foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, golf carts, automobile, or public transit, for COVID-19 Essential Services is permitted. Outdoor exercise and/or dog walking is also specifically permitted."

The best advice given by Dr. Shah has been to treat it like the coronavirus is already in your community and take the steps necessary to limit your potential exposure to the virus.

Social distancing is the key to flattening out the curve of the spread of the coronavirus, a point Dr Shah stressed is vitally important for Mainers to practice. A low curve means that the virus is spreading slowly which gives doctors more time and resources to treat more people. The higher the curve, the most people get sick at once and medical facilities get overwhelmed.

If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, including a runny nose, sore throat, dry cough, fever and in severe cases, difficulty breathing, the Maine CDC says you should call your doctor before going in so that they can prepare for your arrival.

The Maine CDC continues to update with new information at least once a day. Keep checking on our mobile app or website to get the latest.