Governor ‘likely’ to extend stay at home mandate April 28

Mon, 04/27/2020 - 2:15pm

    AUGUSTA — Governor Janet Mills noted during the April 27 daily COVID-19 briefing a final decision on whether to extend her existing stay at home mandate will likely come Tuesday, April 28. 

    Governor Mills issued the mandate March 31 as part of a series of substantial new mandates to protect public health and safety in the face of COVID-19, including the Stay Healthy at Home directive that requires people living in Maine to stay at home at all times unless for an essential job or an essential personal reason, such as obtaining food, medicine, health care, or other necessary purposes.

    The mandate is currently set to expire April 30, though the Governor noted during the Monday briefing she is likely to extend the mandate as an extension seems warranted. 

    A full plan is likely to be announced Tuesday, the Governor said, while noting decisions will be based on facts, science and medical expertise. 

    The news comes after Governor Mills recently released four key aspects of how to gradually reopen the state’s economy including: 

    Protecting Public Health: The State will continue to continue to rely on epidemiological data, such as case trends, hospitalization rates, recoveries and deaths, to inform decisions with the private sector regarding the appropriateness of lifting restrictions.

    Maintaining Health Care Readiness: Maine must maintain its capacity to respond to any surge of the virus. To that end, the State will continue to work closely with our hospitals and health systems to assess system capacity, including available hospital beds, ICU beds and ventilators, and will continue to procure and distribute personal protective equipment as needed to hospitals, nursing facilities, emergency services, and other frontline responders.

    Building Reliable and Accessible Testing: Testing capacity for all symptomatic people and sentinel disease surveillance are key elements of reopening various sectors of the economy. While the widespread availability of rapid testing remains a challenge, the State is actively seeking to expand testing to make it more accessible to Maine people.

    Prioritizing Public-Private Collaboration: Collaboration and leadership among businesses, employees, government entities, and the public is vital to develop, implement, oversee, and adapt guidelines and safe practices. Government alone cannot fix things, government doesn't have all the answers; we need the best thinking of Maine people from every industry and every corner of the state to reimagine and reinvent how we do things in this state in a way that protects both lives and livelihoods.