Governors conference planned for Maine will be moved online

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A meeting of governors from around the country that had been scheduled to take place in Maine has been moved online to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

The Summer Meeting of the National Governors Association had been slated to convene Wednesday in Portland. The association said the event has been moved online “in accordance with public health guidelines and to afford governors from around the country a forum to meet and discuss common goals and priorities without leaving their home states, commonwealths and territories."

The organizers of the event said more than 40 governors are expected to participate. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, is expected to transfer chairmanship of the association over to New York's Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Portland last hosted the association's meeting in 1983.

In other news related to the pandemic in Maine:

NEW CASES

Public health authorities in Maine reported one death and 12 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state on Monday. Maine has had more than 3,900 reported cases of the virus and 124 deaths.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

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CATHOLIC SCHOOLS

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland said Maine's Catholic schools will open for in-school learning with a virtual option for families who want to use it.

Maine's Catholic schools stopped in-person instruction in March, along with other schools around the state. State officials recently recommended that public schools around the state reopen for in-person instruction as well.

Public and private schools around the state have said they will follow safety protocols to limit spread of coronavirus.

“Classrooms and facilities have been and continue to be modified to comply with the latest CDC guidelines,” said Marianne Pelletier, superintendent of Maine Catholic Schools.

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SCHOOL MEALS

Senators from Maine and New Hampshire are joining a push to call for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue allowing students to get meals throughout the pandemic. The senators want children to have access to meals throughout the 2020-21 school year regardless of school opening status.

Independent Sen. Angus King and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan have all joined the effort, which includes more than 30 senators. They also want financial help for school nutrition programs.

“For many children, school breakfast and lunch may be the only healthy and regular meals they receive,” the senators wrote in a letter to USDA.