Maine saw an increase of 24 confirmed cases of coronavirus since Tuesday, bringing the state’s total count to 142, officials announced Wednesday morning.
One of the cases is an employee at the state’s Department of Human Health Services office in Lewiston, Dr. Nirav Shah, the director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, announced at a press conference.
“Our top priority in these situations is alway to ensure the health and safety of the public as well as our employees,” Shah said.
“I closed the Maine DHHS this morning because of a case of COVID-19,” said Jeanne Lambrew, the commissioner of the department.
The decision was made “out of an abundance of caution” while the Maine CDC investigates, Shah said.
As confirmed cases rise, Shah stressed the state’s need for protective and medical equipment such as face masks and ventilators, and urged hospitals and other organizations to accurately report the quantity of their supplies.
“What we have received [from the federal government] is not yet fully what we need,” he said.
The state currently has 151 ICU beds, 83 of which are available, he said. There are also 306 ventilators across the state, with 248 available.
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