Governor Janet T. Mills announced today that two alternative care centers are scheduled to be set up as soon as next week, in the event they are needed. The two centers will be in Portland at the Cross Insurance Arena (100 beds) and in Bangor, (50 beds). The Governor has called in the Maine National Guard and MEMA to convert these facilities into Care Centers – should they be needed to help care for those requiring in hospital care. Staff will be added the following week it was announced at the daily briefing on the pandemic that took place at 2:00 pm rather than earlier in the day.
The Governor said that there are currently 519 cases that have been confirmed positive for COVID-19. Twelve deaths have occurred which is an increase of two from the previous announcement. One is a man in his 50s from Cumberland County and the other is a woman in her 80s also from Cumberland County. Dr. Shah said that the average age of those confirmed cases is 55 years old. It was not revealed whether or not the two most recently deceased individuals had underlining health issues.
Dr Shah said that the MaineCDC labs can run between 300 – 400 tests per day if needed.
The June 9th primary election has been delayed to July 14th because of the pandemic. The July date has been selected because of time constraints. On another matter, the Governor said that this is not the right time for anyone to be evicted because of the pandemic. That includes businesses as well as domiciles.
The Governor has held seven conference calls with other Governors and the Trump administration. Sometimes the President participates, although he did not last night. Vice President Pence participated, however. Most recently the Governor has asked that Maine receive the rapid response machines manufactured by Abbott Labs, Scarborough, soon. Although Maine is not considered to be a “hotspot” as are other states in the nation, Maine does not want to become one she said. Prompt delivery of those machines will go a long way to make that happen,.
“I hope we will never need to use these alternative care sites, but we cannot afford to wait to find out. Establishing them now will ensure that, if the need does arise, we will be prepared and Maine people will receive appropriate care,” said Governor Mills. “My administration will continue to work closely with Maine’s hospital systems to expand our capacity meet the challenges of COVID-19 and its impacts on Maine people. I continue to urge all Maine people to do their part and stay apart,” the Governor emphasized. “Doing so will save lives.”