Dr. Nirav Shah, director of Maine’s Center for Disease Control, told the press today that there are now 142 total cases of Covid-19 across the state. This is an increase of 24 cases in one 24-hour period. Dr. Shah also reported that there is now a case affiliated with the DHHS office in Lewiston, and that the Lewiston DHHS office has been closed while an investigation is proceeding.

Stressful times can exacerbate mental health challenges, and Dr. Shah encouraged those needing help to reach out. He suggested calling 211, or the Maine Crisis Hotline at 888-568-1112, and said there are plenty of people who stand ready to help.

Dr. Shah reiterated that social distancing is a powerful preventive measure that could save many lives, and he encouraged Mainers to stay home and consolidate shopping trips in order to minimize the risk of exposure to infection. He also suggested shopping for elderly neighbors, because the elderly are most likely to become gravely ill if they catch the virus. He suggested that those who can donate blood, and requested that anyone who is a pulmonologist, anesthesiologist, or critical care practitioner register so they can be called to help out if needed. “We want to be as ready as possible,” he said.

When asked when Maine would hit the peak of infections, Dr. Shah said he did not know. Predicting the course of Covid-19 is like “following a path through the woods where you don’t know where it will end. Not until you reach the destination do you know where it ends.” He did note that he expects numbers of those infected with the virus to increase in Maine, and for the virus to spread further throughout the state.