Washington County Coronavirus updates

The Machias Valley News Observer will be regularly updating this page with information relating to coronavirus in Washington County, including closures, cancellations, and postponements. If you have any updates to include here, please email them to editor@machiasnews.com.

THERE ARE 30 CONFIRMED AND 12 PRESUMPTIVE POSITIVE COVID-19 CASES IN MAINE AND NO CONFIRMED CASES IN WASHINGTON COUNTY AS OF WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18 at 12:00 P.M. AS OF THIS DATE, MAINE HAS TESTED 1,607 PATIENTS FOR THE VIRUS.

Updates:

March 15: Governor Janet Mills will host a press conference on Sunday, March 15 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss developments in Maine's coronavirus situation.

March 12: Governor Janet Mills announced the first presumptive positive case of the 2019 novel coronavirus / Covid-19. The individual in question, a female in her 50s, lives in Androscoggin County, and recently traveled back to the United States from Italy. The governor announced three steps to reduce the possible spread of disease: 1) proclaiming an insurance emergency to improve access to care and require private health insurance plans to cover costs related to coronavirus testing; 2) suspending all non-essential out-of-state work travel by State employees; and 3) recommending, on the advice of Maine CDC, that non-essential large, indoor gatherings of 250 attendees or more be postponed in order to delay a potential coronavirus outbreak and substantially reduce its spread.

Two more presumptive positive cases were announced Friday, March 13,

March 11, University of Maine at Machias: University of Maine System Chancellor Dan Malloy announced all university student housing would close effective March 22. Effective March 23, all in-class academic instruction to online or other pedagogically appropriate distance modalities and all in-person classes will change to distance learning.  

Effective immediately, DECH Visitation Limitations: Down East Community Hospital has enacted visitation restrictions to protect patients and the public. Visitors who are ill with flu or cold symptoms, fever, sore throat, cough, sneezing, runny/stuffy nose, vomiting and/or diarrhea will not be permitted.  There will only be one visitor allowed per patient in all areas. Members of the public coming to the hospital can be expected to be screened and asked to clean their hands.  No visitors will be allowed for patients who have a pending or positive COVID-19 test.  Lastly, all visitors must be 16 years or older.  Special exceptions may be made to the visiting restrictions for OB patients and patients at end of life or in hospice care and those exceptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by a nursing manager.

Cancellations and Postponements:

Machias Christian Fellowship and Arise Addiction Recovery: Effective immediately, all services and outreach meetings for the Machias Christian Fellowship and Arise will be canceled for the next two weeks. All church services will be live-streamed via Facebook. 

Calais Celtic Concert, McPeake: The concert for March 29 has been canceled. All monies have been refunded.

Pat's Pizza Machias: Effective Wednesday, March 18, Pat's will close its dining room to foodservice. Patrons may still order takeout.

Town of Machias: The town budget meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 18, has been canceled.

Eastport City Hall: closed until April 2. City council, board and committee meetings are canceled. Council will revisit the closure on April 1.

Eastport Schools: Closed until Wednesday, April 1. 

Whole Life Natural Market and Cafe: Takeout only, phone orders preferred.

Bluebird Ranch Family Restaurant: Open for takeout and dining. Restaurant has switched the single-use menus and removed several tables to create greater distances between customers.

Lubec Brewing Company: Closed until further notice.

Hing Garden: As of March 16, dining room is closed. Takeout is available, and food can be brought to your car.

Helen's Restaurant: Beginning March 18 we will stop eat-in service after breakfast at 11 a.m. for two weeks. As of 11 am Wednesday, March 18 we will provide take-out service only. Take out will be available from 11 a.m. -1 p.m., and 4-6:30 p.m. closed Sunday

March 13, UMM Murdock Fitness And Aquatics Center: Until further notice, the fitness center is open to UMM students, faculty and staff only. Management will reevaluate on March 30. 

Porter Memorial Library, Machias: Effective Thursday, March 19 at 5 p.m., Porter Memorial Library will close for two weeks, in order to protect the health of its patrons, staff, and volunteers. The library will be open March 17, 18 and 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., during which time patrons are urged to stock up on sufficient reading material for the period of social isolation we are advised to undertake as a community. All events at the library are cancelled until May 1, effective immediately.

Effective immediately, Downeast Youth Soccer Association: DYSA released the following on Friday, March 13: Due to the current public health crisis and the CDC recommendations of social distancing, the DYSA board has decided to cancel the final session of the Spring Indoor Soccer Session. We look forward to seeing you all this fall and thank you for your understanding.

March 16-17, Washington Academy closed:  Students will not return to school before Monday, April 6.

March 16, All A.O.S. 96 schools closed: Students will not return to school before Monday, March 30.

March 12, Maine Community Colleges: Maine’s community colleges are extending spring breaks for students by one week this month in order to provide more time to prepare to transition as many in-person courses as possible to new methods of instruction, should the need arise.

The colleges are extending their breaks for students on a staggered timetable, based upon their individual college calendars (below). At the present time, no college has closed its residential facilities, and students who would normally be allowed to stay in campus housing over their college’s spring break may continue to do so unless a change in the policy becomes necessary.

March 14, O'McCrelli at Lubec Brewing Company: Cancelled by brewery owners Gale and McGinley, in order to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

March 15, Robbinston Community Potluck: Canceled.

March 15, Eastport Statehood Celebration: For those of you who were planning on going, the celebration of Maine's 200th, set for Sunday, March 15 in Eastport, has been cancelled due to the word that coronavirus is now in Maine. Still hoping to do the Field Day this summer!

March 17, Q&A at Woodland School, Calais: Public question and answer session hosted by Superintendent Braun, Principal Ross and Principal Belanger on Tuesday, March 17 at 5 p.m. in the Woodland High School Gym. Those with questions about how the school will safeguard students from the 2019 novel coronavirus are invited to attend.

March 21, Machiasport Bicentennial Celebration: Postponed indefinitely due to virus concerns, 

April 7, Women's Health Center Trivia Night: postponed to a later date.

April 11, Downeast Salmon Federation Smelt Fry: postponed to a later date.

 

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