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State doubles rent assistance

CDC reports one COVID-19 death and 22 new cases

By Fran Gonzalez | Jul 30, 2020

Augusta — Dr. Nirav Shah of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday, July 30, an additional 22 cases of COVID-19 were reported since yesterday in Maine.

In addition, Gov. Janet Mills announced that the state is doubling its rental assistance from $500 to $1,000 through the COVID-19 Rental Relief Program starting Aug. 3. The program will be available for the next three months and can be used to pay back rent.

A man in his 80s from Kennebec County, is the latest death associated with the disease. In all 122 people have died from the virus. Currently, there are 11 individuals hospitalized because of virus; eight in intensive care units and three on ventilators.

In Waldo County, the total number of people with the virus has now inched up to 62. In all there have been 14 deaths, five current hospitalizations and 47 recoveries. By comparison, on July 8, Waldo County had 58 total cases.

Shah said the state’s hospitalization rate is one person for every 100,000 people in Maine, as compared to the national rate of 18 per 100,000. In all, 3,345 people have recovered from the virus.

In outbreaks, Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, which recorded 12 people with the virus on Tuesday, now has 14 cases of COVID-19, including 12 staffers and two patients.

Hancock Foods, a blueberry facility in the town of Hancock, which reported five workers testing positive for COVID-19 Tuesday, now has eight people with the virus.

A new outbreak was reported at Merrill Blueberry Farm in Ellsworth, where three people have tested positive.

Out of 2,725 tests given yesterday, Shah said the one-day positivity rate for the state is 0.62%, while the seven-day average rate is 0.95%. The national seven-day rate is 8%.

Gov. Janet Mills announced today that the state is doubling its rental assistance from $500 to $1,000 through the COVID-19 Rental Relief Program starting Aug. 3. The program will be available for the next three months and can be used to pay back rent.

The governor today also signed an Executive Order continuing expanded time period protections for renters in the eviction process.

The moves come as the Maine Supreme Judicial Court plans to reopen courts for hearings next week and as the federal government appears poised to reduce unemployment benefits, leaving some facing a "housing cliff."

For more information about the COVID-19 Rental Relief Program, including eligibility requirements, application materials, statistics about the program, and frequently asked questions, visit mainehousing.org/covidrent.

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