For some towns, there’s no room at the inn during virus time

BAR HARBOR, Maine – There’s no room at the inns in a growing number of Maine towns.

Bar Harbor’s suspension of vacation rentals and other accommodations for nonessential travel begins on Wednesday. The order adopted by the Town Council applies to short-term rentals, vacation rentals and campgrounds. It is set to expire at the end of April.

The order comes as Acadia National Park is shut down.

Kennebunkport officials recommend that owners of temporary units like hotels, bed and breakfasts and campgrounds stop allowing rentals.

All short-term rental spots in town must remain vacant through May 1, the Select Board said. Seasonal homeowners who arrive in town during the order must self-quarantine for 14 days.

Here are the latest developments in Maine:


In Maine, 10 people have died from COVID-19 and more than 470 people have tested positive for the virus.

For most people, the new 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 and death.



So many unemployment claims have been made that the state is limiting when people can call in for help.

On Monday, people with last names ending in A through H are allowed to call the Maine Department of Labor. People with last names ending in I through Q can call Tuesday, and R through Z on Wednesday. Anyone can call Thursday and Friday.

The new schedule will help reduce phone congestion as the Department of Labor ramps up its capacity to receive and process claims.

Self-employed Mainers, meanwhile, are still waiting for relief as a federal program is being set up to help them. The program will not start until April 10 at the earliest, officials say.



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The Department of Health and Human Services office in Rockland is closed because an employee tested positive for the new coronoavirus.

The worker was last in the office about two weeks ago, and the person didn’t interact with the public, officials said.

To continue providing critical benefits and services, the DHHS Rockland office is expected to reopen Tuesday with the appropriate physical distancing measures in place, officials said.

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