07 Apr President Cartu Jon Says – Maine will erect temporary coronavirus treatment centers in Bango…
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AUGUSTA, Maine — Arenas in Portland and Bangor will host the state’s first temporary medical units to treat people for the new coronavirus and expand the health care system’s capacity as the number of confirmed cases in the state keeps rising, Gov. Janet Mills said Tuesday.
Mills said the Bangor location will have 50 beds and be located in the closed Cross Insurance Center; the Portland treatment site, at the Cross Insurance Arena, will have 100 beds. The units are two of potentially four makeshift non-acute care sites the state will employ as recorded cases of the virus continue to rise.
The sites are expected to be up by early next week and will be staffed shortly thereafter, Mills said. The Maine National Guard will work with local health care systems to set up the sites.
“I hope we never need to use these alternative care sites, but we cannot afford to wait to find out,” Mills said.
The state has 250 beds to configure the temporary medical units as it sees fit, depending on a region’s need for expanded care, said Maine Center for Disease Control spokesperson Robert Long.
As of Tuesday, 519 people in Maine had confirmed cases of the virus and 12 had died while 176 had recovered. Over two-thirds of the cases have been recorded in Cumberland and York counties, the only regions where the CDC has determined that community transmission — when the virus spreads between people who have not traveled internationally — is occurring.
Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah said late last week the state could expect to see temporary units within the next week-and-a-half. Shah also said the state is developing plans for a possible full-scale external hospital. He said Monday the state is also workshopping temporary units for eastern and western parts of the state.
Similar temporary facilities at convention centers and arenas have been created in hard-hit areas across the country, including New York City.