1. The U.S. tops 4.4 million coronavirus cases with more than 150,000 deaths. The Maine CDC reported no new coronavirus-related deaths and 28 new cases on Wednesday. The state’s death toll remains 121 with active cases increasing to 409.
2. Governor Janet Mills has announced that Maine will raise the limit on large gatherings for outdoor activities from 50 to 100 people starting Saturday. No more than five people will be allowed per 1,000 square feet in order to maintain social distancing. The gathering limit for indoor activities will remain at 50 people.
3. The stories of many who became homeless at a young age had a visible impact on Portland Mayor Kate Snyder, who listened to protesters’ for nearly two hours in Lincoln Park yesterday. People who are homeless, with the support of housed supporters, have been sleeping at an encampment on the plaza at City Hall since last Wednesday. The group has said it plans to stay at City Hall until the city meets its demands: to freeze evictions, legalize outdoor camping, build more affordable housing, create overdose prevention sites, defund the police and invest more into social services. Many of the people who spoke to Snyder and councilors expressed a desperate need for basic necessities, such as a place to go to the bathroom and take a shower. Those services used to be available for decades at the Preble Street Resource Center, but the center had to be closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
4. Three reported shark sightings have put Maine Marine Patrol on high alert following Monday’s fatal attack. A shark sighting near Cousins Island in Yarmouth triggered an alert from Cumberland. “Out of an abundance of caution, we are advising that residents do not enter the water at Broad Cove Reserve beyond ankle-deep.” The two other reports of shark sightings Wednesday were both near Popham Beach.
5. In social media posts, Port City Music Hall announced it would permanently close due to the pandemic, saying, “Port City Music Hall, unfortunately, cannot survive this crisis without revenue — and no end in sight.”
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