Governor Janet Mills announced today that the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland and the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor will be designated alternative care sites for COVID-19 patients.

Maine has enough hospital beds currently to deal with the number of COVID-19 patients, but in order to be ready in case Maine's health care facilities become overwhelmed, the two arenas will be used as alternative care facilities.

The Cross Insurance Arena in Portland will be able to hold at least 100 hospital beds and the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor will hold at least 50. The sites will be set up as early as next week and staffed shortly thereafter.

"I hope we never have to use these sites," Gov. Mills said Tuesday. "But we cannot afford to wait to find out. Building them now will ensure, that if the need does arise, we will be prepared and Maine people will be cared for and Maine people will survive."

Maine's number of reported cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) surpassed 500 on Tuesday as 20 more cases were reported. That's 9 cases less than reported on Monday. 176 people have recovered which is an increase of 18 since Monday.

Cumberland County has the most positive cases of COVID-19 and community transmission is occurring there long with York county. All counties except Piscataquis county have recorded at least one case of COVID-19. Investigations are ongoing in other counties to determine if community transmission is occurring there.

Here's a map of the breakdown of number of cases by county from the Maine CDC.

Maine CDC

 

Governor Janet Mills has ordered all Mainers to stay home unless you work for an essential business or need to do an essential activity. The executive order remains in effect until April 30. Find out what that means for you by clicking or tapping 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.

Shah says that right now, our only vaccine against the COVID-19 is physical distancing. It 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. Shah says that right now, our only vaccine against the COVID-19 is physical distancing.

The Maine CDC continues to update with new information daily. Keep checking on our mobile app or website to get the latest.