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Maine To Use $1M Federal Grant To Launch Mental Health Initiative As 31 New COVID-19 Cases Diagnosed

Robert F. Bukaty
Associated Press/file
In this March 12, 2020 file photo, Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah speaks at a press briefing in Augusta.

Maine has now diagnosed 2,637 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic's onset, 31 more cases than Tuesday. The death toll remains at 100, the same as Tuesday.That's according to Maine Center for Disease Control Director Dr. Nirav Shah, who said at a media briefing Wednesday that another 31 people have recovered from the disease since Tuesday, bringing the cumulative total of recoveries to 2,023. The number of active cases remains the same as Tuesday, 514.

Fifteen of Maine's new cases are in Cumberland County, nine are in Androscoggin County and four in York County. The rest are scattered around the state's 13 other counties.

Shah said 650 of Maine's cases so far have been among health care workers. A total of 303 people with the disease have been hospitalized. Twenty-seven are currently hospitalized, 10 of them in critical care. Five are on ventilators.

Shah said the state has begun universal testing at Nichols manufacturing in Portland, where he said Tuesday that seven cases had been identified, and trying to identify patterns of disease transimission at Abbott Labs in Scarborough, which makes tests for the disease, and where five cases have turned up since the end of May, in addition to 23 previous cases.

Maine DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew said outbreak settings are a major target of a $1 million federal grant that the state will use to provide crisis counseling and behavioral health response teams to help people cope with the virus.

Lambrew said the grant will also be used to assess the health needs of different commuities in Maine, including people of color, immigrants, and others.

Maine will also launch a mental health public awareness campaign aimed at helping people build coping skills, and increase support for helplines to provide "psychological first aid" accessible through the state helpline, 2-1-1.

Updated June 10, 2020 at 2:42 p.m. ET.

Barbara grew up in Biddeford, Maine. She earned a master’s in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s in English from the University of Southern Maine.