AUGUSTA — Governor Janet Mills issued the following statement in response to the President’s Guidelines for Opening Up America Again:
“We all want life to return to normal as soon as it is safe to do so. Our hearts break to see closed storefronts and people struggling to make ends meet because of this crisis. At the same time, we all know that reopening too soon and too aggressively will likely cause a secondary surge in COVID 19 cases, jeopardizing the lives of Maine people and further destabilizing the economy. None of us want that. I have been speaking with a number of economic leaders, including the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Their message is clear: the most important thing we can do to turn the economy around is to defeat the virus.
“As the President acknowledges, the Governors are in charge of reopening their states’ economies and gradually lifting public health restrictions. Here in Maine, we too are planning a phased-in reopening, tailored to the demographics and various economic sectors of our state. Ultimately, the protocols we adopt, made after consulting with people from all parts of the state, will be guided by fact, science and public health expertise. As the President’s guidelines note, widespread testing, personal protective equipment, and contact tracing are critical to lifting restrictions and reviving the economy; for that reason, the nation’s governors yesterday again urged the Federal government to ensure that all states have these resources.
“I remain in contact with Governor Sununu of New Hampshire and Governor Scott of Vermont regarding actions that may be appropriate for the northern New England region. My Administration, through the Department of Economic and Community Development, has been connecting with individual economic sectors across the state to devise a plan for how we gradually reopen the Maine economy. Those decisions, of course, are driven first and foremost by the need to protect the public health. We will release details of the plan in the near future.”