Restaurants reopen for diners in 12 counties in Maine

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Hungry Mainers can eat at restaurants and have a seat in 12 of the state’s 16 counties, where restaurants were allowed to reopen Monday to dine-in customers.

Reopening dates for restaurants were moved up from June 1 in counties that have had fewer cases of the coronavirus. Those restaurants that are reopening have limited seating to ensure social distancing can be maintained and have to take extra steps when it comes to sanitizing.

Some restaurants said they would give customers the option of using plastic utensils and plastic or paper drinking cups.

Remote camps as well as sporting camps, which provide access to wilderness activities such as hunting or fishing, were also allowed to open Monday to Maine residents, along with out-of-state visitors who have completed a 14-day quarantine.

The 14-day quarantine for out-of-state visitors has been a source of frustration for Maine’s tourism industry. Gov. Janet Mills has said the state is looking at alternatives.

In other news related to the virus in Maine:

MORE CASES

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 26 new cases of the virus and an additional death. There have been 1,713 cases of the virus and 71 deaths in the state.

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover.

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FIRST RESPONDERS

The U.S. Senate passed a proposal co-sponsored by Republican Sen. Susan Collins that seeks to ensure quick access to survivor benefits for families of first responders who lose their lives to the virus. Collins’ office said the law change would clarify “certification requirements for survivor benefits under the Public Safety Officers Benefits Program to account for the unique challenges presented by the pandemic.”

The proposal was headed to the U.S. House of Representatives.

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