Maine’s request for federal disaster assistance to fight the coronavirus pandemic has been approved by President Trump, Gov. Janet Mills announced Saturday.

The major disaster declaration unlocks critical federal assistance for state agencies and municipalities, Mills’ office said in a statement.

“The approval is specifically for public assistance, which means that state agencies and municipalities in all of Maine’s 16 counties will be reimbursed for 75 percent of approved costs associated with their COVID-19 response,” the statement said.

In a letter to Trump on Tuesday, Mills also asked for federal support for child care, crisis counseling, disaster legal services and other programs. Those requests are still under review, along with a request for funding for the Maine National Guard, should it need to be activated to assist with transportation, security, logistical planning and building field hospitals.

Maine’s congressional delegation wrote to the president on Thursday to express their support.

In a joint statement released Saturday, Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden noted that COVID-19 has “overburdened our state’s health care system and taken a tremendous toll on Maine employees and small businesses. This much-needed federal assistance will help mitigate the significant hardship that Maine people and businesses are experiencing as a result of this virus.”

The public assistance aid that was just approved, Mills said, “will bolster the response of our state agencies and municipalities who are working to protect the public’s health and safety during these unprecedented times.”

She added: “I am grateful to Maine’s congressional delegation for advocating for this designation, and I am hopeful the president will approve the state’s pending requests for critical resources.”

A federal disaster declaration also was approved for New Hampshire, The Associated Press reported Saturday. Nearly 550 people in the Granite State have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Seven people have died, and more than 80 have been hospitalized.

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