Governor Mills quarantining after likely exposure to COVID-19
Officials say that Mills was last in the Governor’s office on Monday, and she will be working remotely.
AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Governor Janet Mills announced Tuesday she is quarantining after exposure to an individual who is believed likely to have COVID-19.
Officials say Mills has not been with the individual, who is a member of her Executive Protection Unit (EPU), since Saturday. According to Mills, both followed CDC protocols at that time, including wearing a mask and keeping distance.
Officials say the two were only in contact for less than 10 minutes.
“I am feeling fine and not experiencing any symptoms whatsoever; but as we have said all along, no one is immune from exposure to this virus,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I am going to continue working as hard as I can on behalf of Maine people during this quarantine; but putting a lid on this virus will also require hard work by every person all across the state. I know people are tired, and I know it can be difficult to take the necessary precautions, but with the number of new cases and the number of people hospitalized, it is more important than ever before that we protect each other’s health and safety. Please wear your mask, watch your distance, and wash your hands – and, if you come into contact with someone who may have the virus, follow CDC guidelines and avoid contact with others for the required period.”
She is scheduled to take a PCR test on Thursday which is five days after her potential exposure to the virus.
We’re told that’s the time period for testing recommended by health officials.
Mills will be quarantining through December 12 at the Blaine House.
The governor also posted a video message to the people of Maine on her Facebook page.
Officials say that Mills was last in the Governor’s office on Monday.
She will be working remotely.
The EPU member who is believed likely to have COVID-19 is said to have developed COVID-like symptoms on Monday, Nov. 30, and is considered a probable case by the Maine CDC. The individual has already taken a PCR test and is awaiting results.
Sen. Angus King Tweeted in response to Mill’s announcement Tuesday night.
“The governor was slated to swear-in members of the 130th Maine Legislature.... Wedensday at the Augusta Civic Center. Maine lawmakers will now be sworn in by Hon. Andrew M. Mead, Acting Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Court.
Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, and incoming Speaker of the House Ryan Fecteau, D-Biddeford, released the following statements.
“In Maine, we know that we need to take this virus seriously in order to keep our people safe and get our economy back up to speed. Throughout this pandemic, Governor Mills has acted quickly and decisively, and her steadfast leadership has put us in a better position than most. Once again, the governor is leading by example by quarantining after a possible exposure to COVID-19 and putting the health, safety and well-being of Mainers first.
“At this point in the pandemic, we’ve figured out how to work remotely to get things done. We will miss the governor at tomorrow’s swearing-in day ceremony. We will continue working with Gov. Mills remotely, as we’ve done throughout this pandemic, throughout the remainder of her quarantine.”
Incoming Speaker Fecteau:
“Governor Mills is doing what she has asked of all Mainers throughout this pandemic - following the best public health guidance available. We know that no one is immune to COVID-19 and that everyone doing their part helps keep more Mainers safe and healthy. While I’m disappointed she won’t be joining us for the opening session of the 130th Legislature tomorrow, I’m beyond grateful for Governor Mills’ commitment to handling this pandemic with the seriousness necessary to mitigate damage and save lives.”
Maine GOP Chair Dr. Demi Kouzounas is calling on Gov. Mills to release more information.
“Given the timeline, it is possible that the governor and her staff may have exposed Democrat Leadership and the Democrat caucus to the virus. The possibility of the Governor infecting legislators from all corners of the state is a major public health risk that must be dealt with at once,” Kouzounas added.
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