AUGUSTA – On Tuesday, Maine hit 118 positive cases of COVID-19. This prompted Governor Janet Mills to issue a new mandate in an attempt to keep Mainers away from further public contact.
“Effective tomorrow through April 8 at 12 a.m., I am mandating that all non-essential businesses or operations in Maine close their physical locations that are public facing, meaning those that allow any customer, vendor or other in-person contact,” Mills said at a press conference in Augusta Tuesday. “This order also closes non-essential businesses, sites that require more than 10 workers to convene in a space where physical distancing is not practical.”
This new ruling does not include essential services, such as food products or medical services. The definition of essential business they are relying on is provided by Homeland Security.
Mills also noted her satisfaction with Mainers as they have “stepped up to the plate” during these changes over the last few weeks.
“Maine Craft Distilling is making and distributing its own hand sanitizer,” said Mills. “Who would have thought that distilleries could turn into such uses, but they’re stepping up to the plate. I’m proud of Maine people.”
The Maine CDC reported that their request for federal National Stockpile Resources arrived Tuesday morning, but the CDC Director noted another concern with the backlog when it comes to testing samples.
According to Dr. Shah, there are over 1,300 tests awaiting review at the CDC’s lab in Augusta.
“Let me just say, right up at the top, that number is unacceptable to us and we acknowledge that,” Dr. Shah said of the backlog.
Dr. Shah also announced the Maine CDC has partnered with three additional commercial entities in order to provide further test reviews.