Governor Janet Mills issued a stay at home order for the State of Maine during a press conference Tuesday evening after Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, announced earlier in the day that two more Mainers passed away as a result of COVID-19.
The order issued by Governor Mills takes effect Thursday, April 2 and will remain in place until Thursday, April 30. According to the governor, people may leave their homes if they work in an essential business or to conduct or participate in essential activity, such as buying groceries.
While people are out, they must maintain six feet of distance from other people. The governor also ordered individuals not to use public transportation unless its being used for an essential reason, or to go to work for a job that cannot be performed from home. People who travel in their own vehicles are being asked to limit passengers to only those who reside in the same household unless for emergency purposes.
Schools will also remain closed until at least May 1 under the order.
Essential retail establishments are being ordered to limit the number of people within the establishment at one time, implement curbside pickup and put up plexiglass between customers and clerks.
Governor Mills noted during the press conference that her order is enforceable under Title 37-B which gives her administration and all law enforcement across the state full authority to enforce the provisions of her executive orders. Violations are Class E crimes subject to up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine, she said. Business entities that open or operate without complying with the order can also be subject to licensing restrictions.
Before her action Tuesday evening, Governor Mills had previously ordered a state of emergency, prohibited gatherings of more than 10 people, closed dine-in services at bars and restaurants, prohibited nonessential public-facing businesses from opening, closed state parks and encouraged all Maine people to stay six feet apart from one another.