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Gov. Mills announces changes to business, travel restrictions following spike in COVID-19 cases

“If we do not control this outbreak, we may never get this evil genie back in the bottle,” said Governor Mills.
Governor Mills asks department heads to submit cost curtailment proposals amid pandemic revenue...
Governor Mills asks department heads to submit cost curtailment proposals amid pandemic revenue loss
Published: Nov. 1, 2020 at 1:53 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) -

The office of Governor Janet Mills announced several actions on Sunday to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Maine following spike in COVID-19 cases.

According to a release put out by press secretary Lindsay Crete, the Administration will extend the “Keep Maine Healthy” program through December to promote local prevention efforts. The Administration will also return to lower indoor gathering limits, postpone bar and tasting room from reopening , and remove New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut from exempt status under the State’s travel advisory.

According to the governors office, Effective Wednesday, November 4th, indoor gatherings will return to a maximum of 50 people, regardless of the buildings capacity. The gathering limit on outdoor activities will stay at 100 people under existing guidelines, with physical distancing and the use of face coverings. Occupancy limits for retail establishments will remain at 5 people per 1,000 square feet of shopping space.

Administration officials says while the reopening bars and tasting rooms were anticipated to open up to indoor seated service on Monday, that will n0w be postponed until further notice.

As several states across the U.S. have seen the spikes over the past month, Maine saw significant increases in cases, hospitalizations, and positivity rates. Friday saw 103 new cases of COVID-19, the highest single-day increase in Maine since the beginning of the pandemic. Saturday saw 98 new cases, and one more person lost their life to the virus. While Maine’s 7-day positivity rate is still much lower than other states, it has doubled over the last two weeks to 0.92 percent.

“If we do not control this outbreak, we may never get this evil genie back in the bottle,” said Governor Mills.

This weekend, the nation surpassed more than nine million total cases of COVID-19, and more than 230,000 deaths—about four times the number of American soldiers who perished during the entire Vietnam war.

Dr. Nirav Shah, Director of The Maine CDC said “Epidemiological data and case investigations during the past week show that Maine is experiencing widespread community transmission. Maine people and visitors can help limit further spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 by adhering to proven safety measures. Every time you leave your home, please do so with the intent of making Maine safer for yourself and others.”

“In order to keep people safe, in order to keep schools open as much as possible, in order to keep our economy rolling, it is more important than ever before that each of us avoids gatherings, stays six feet apart from other people, uses hand sanitizer, gets a flu shot, wears a face covering indoors and outdoors, and washes our hands frequently,” continued Governor Mills. “We can stem the tide of this virus, but it will require a team effort on the part of all Maine people. We are in this together. Maine people recognize that this is a fundamental matter of social and personal responsibility — like not driving on the wrong side of the road, like putting your young child in a car seat, like wearing a coat in cold weather.”

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