Maine Department of Labor shares unemployment advice amid coronavirus concerns

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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - A large portion of the workforce has been laid off in Maine as businesses close to help slow the spread of COVID-19

The Florida Department announces there are 1,171 cases of COVID-19 in Florida as of 11 a.m. Monday. (CDC)

The Department of Labor says their phone lines are backed up significantly, and the best way to file for unemployment is online.

Emergency legislation has passed allowing more flexibility in unemployment eligibility.

Claims filed this week can also cover last week.

Laura Fortman, Maine Dept. of Labor Commissioner, said, "It was pretty much overnight. Four weeks ago, we were getting lots of calls from employers desperately looking to hire people, and right now, we're getting phone calls constantly as well as online from workers who have been laid off. So, it was a pretty dramatic shift, and we are ramping up as quickly as possible."

For more information, you can visit Maine.gov/labor.