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Mills Extends Civil Emergency Order As Another Mainer Dies And COVID-19 Cases Grow

Nick Woodward
/
Maine Public
Gov. Janet Mills briefs the media on Maine's response to the COVID-19 pandemic at an Augusta news conference March 27, 2020.

Updated April 4, 2020 at 2:44 p.m. ET

Maine Gov. Janet Mills Tuesday announced a 30-day extension of her civil emergency declaration issued March 15. The move comes after another death in the state attributed to COVID-19, and an increase of 36 cases of the disease overnight, bringing the total of known cases to 738. Mills said not everything she's ordered in the previous declaration will continue for next full 30 days, but it will for now.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said the latest Maine resident to die from the new coronavirus was a woman in her 70s from York County, bringing the death toll from the pandemic to 20.

Twelve of the 20 Mainers who have died after contracting the coronavirus were from Cumberland County and four from York County. Combined, cases in the two counties account for about two-thirds of those identified in the state. But cases are growing in several other Maine counties as well.

Piscataquis remains the only county in the state with no known cases.

During the course of the pandemic, 124 Mainers have been hospitalized and another 292 have recovered.

Mills was asked about President Donald Trump's claim that he can unilaterally reopen the economy. Mills declined to comment on Trump's claim, and said she's working with governors in New Hampshire and Vermont to determine the best time to reopen.

Journalist Steve Mistler is Maine Public’s chief politics and government correspondent. He is based at the State House.