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Health

Mills: Announcement On Stay-At-Home Extension Likely On Tuesday, As Another Mainer Dies Of COVID-19

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Nick Woodward
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Maine Public
Maine Gov. Janet Mills, left, and DHHS Commissioner jeanne Lambrew at a news conference on coronavirus Monday, April 27, 2020.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills says she's likely to announce Tuesday whether she'll extend her stay-at-home order, which expires Thursday.  At a news conference Monday with Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew, Mills said she is considering how and when to reopen Maine, based on several criteria: protecting public health, ensuring health care readiness, adequate testing and cooperation between public and private entities.

She said her new guidelines will largely be determined by whether businesses can safely limit employee and customer interactions and maintain existing physical distancing rules.

“Those businesses will be among the first to reopen. Those that cannot do that will be among the last,” she says.

The governor also said the new guidelines will not be dictated by essential and non-essential designations by the federal government, which have largely determined which businesses have stayed open and closed over the past month.

Mills also says she’s likely to extend Maine’s stay-at-home order that expires Thursday, but she could make a formal announcement as soon as tomorrow.

Mills made the announcement after the Maine Center for Disease Control confirmed eight new cases of COVID-19 and one new death.

The latest person to die was a man in his 70's from Kennebec County, Lambrew said. That brings the total number of deaths in Maine to 51 and total confirmed cases to 1,023. More half of those cases are listed as recovered.

Lambrew said no new outbreaks have been detected at long term care facilities.

“We’ve had a total of 268 cases to date in those settings, for a percentage of 26 percent of all cases,” she said.

Deaths among long-term care residents account for more than half the COVID-19 deaths in Maine.

Updated April 27, 2020 at 5:06 p.m. ET.