At today's daily Maine CDC briefing, Department of Labor Commissioner Larua Fortman remind viewers that the State begins accepting applications for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program on Friday, May 1. The PUA provides financial assistance to  Maine workers who aren't eligible for Maine state unemployment benefits such as those who are self employed.

The program is part of the Federal CARES act and provides up to 39 weeks of benefits through December 26 of this year.

The graphic below will show if you qualify for PUA and if you do, you can begin to application process at https://www.maine.gov/unemployment/pua/.

Maine.gov

Maine CDC director Nirav Shah announced at today's briefing that the total number of reported cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is now at 1,095, an increase of 39 new cases since Wednesday. 16 of those cases were reported on Wednesday but not included in the total case count until today, so the actual 24 hour increase in cases is 23.

631 people diagnosed with COIVD-19 have recovered, an increase of 16. The total number of active cases is 411, an increase of 22.

One new death was reported bringing the total to 53.

170 patients have had to be hospitalized at some point. 35 are currently hospitalized with 18 of those in critical care and 8 patients on ventilators.

Here's a breakdown of the numbers by county from the Maine CDC.

Maine CDC

And here's another handy graphic that was put together by the University of Maine Presque Isle GIS Lab that shows just about every number and stat you might be interested in, presented in a easy to understand format.

Governor Janet Mills announced on Tuesday during Maine CDC's briefing the new "Stay Safer at Home Order," which will go through May 31, 2020, as well as her four-stage plan to reopen the state.

Stage 1 begins May 1, and it "continues the prohibition on gatherings of more than 10 people," per the governor's press release.

She noted that people who are able to work from home should continue to do so, and people should wear cloth face coverings in public settings where physical distancing measures are hard to maintain.

Additionally, this stage allows for the limited expansion of certain business, religious, and quality of life activities, with appropriate safety precautions.

These include, according to the release:

  • Health care from Maine-licensed providers, with recommendations that they prioritize care for patients with time-sensitive conditions; assure the safety of patients, staff, and communities; manage the use of essential resources such as personal protective equipment and testing supplies; and pace re-opening services to the level of community COVID-19 activity, maintaining capacity in our hospitals for potential outbreaks

  • Personal services: Barber shops, hair salons, and pet grooming

  • Limited drive-in, stay-in-your-vehicle religious services

  • Drive-in movie theaters

  • Outdoor recreation: guided outdoor activities (hunting & fishing) and restricted use of golf and disc golf courses

  • State parks, state-owned public land trails, and historic sites; although certain coastal state parks will remain closed

  • Auto dealerships and car washes

The governor noted in the press conference that if the Maine CDC detects any resurgence of the virus, the state will slow down the stages and reinstate restrictions.

For a more complete listing of the stages and the governor's layout of those stages, click here.

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 daily. Keep checking on our mobile app or website to get the latest.