Maine issues stay-at-home order

Maine issues stay-at-home order
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Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) issued a stay-at-home order for her state Tuesday, joining a burgeoning list of other governors who are urging their constituents to stay inside.

Warning that “more people will die,” Mills said that drastic actions are needed to blunt the spread of the coronavirus, which has already infected at least 303 Mainers and killed five.

“We are in the midst of one of the greatest public health crises this world has seen in more than a century. This virus will continue to sicken people across our state; our cases will only grow, and more people will die. I say this to be direct, to be as honest with you as I can. Because saving lives will depend on us,” Mills said in a statement accompanying her executive order.

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The executive order, which will take effect on Thursday and hold through April, makes exceptions for shopping for necessities such as groceries and medicine and going to jobs deemed essential. Mainers can also exercise outdoors but must maintain 6 feet of distance from people outside their household.

Other restrictions include mandating businesses limit the number of customers in their shop at any given time, curtailing the use of public transportation and cancelling in-class schooling until at least May 1.

Violations of the order are punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Nirav Shah said at a press conference Tuesday it is “almost inevitable” that the coronavirus spread to every part of the state but that the outbreak will not be as serious as denser areas such as New York City.