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CDC director says coronavirus quarantine on way out of states, still need to protect Mainers

Out of state travelers coming to Maine must self-quarantine for 14 days.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A key piece of Maine’s strategy to fight COVID-19 is the stay at home order. In addition to the order for residents, there has been a specific stay at home instruction to people traveling to Maine from out of state, to self-quarantine for 14 days.

There’s no way to know if that quarantine has actually been happening, and a lot of people with second homes have already come to Maine to escape the crowded areas of their home states. The new, phased-in plan from Governor Janet Mills to slowly reopen Maine’s economy requires that 14-day quarantine order to stay in place through the summer. Tourist businesses say that would be a disaster for them. Dr. Shah of the CDC defended the reasoning for the order, saying people from other states have a higher risk of exposure to the virus.

“The rate of the disease in the rest of the country is significantly higher than it is in Maine,” Dr. Shah said. “Massachusetts has over 62,000 cases of COVID 19, and that’s for a state with five to six times the people as Maine. Massachusetts has 62,000 cases and Maine has a little over a thousand.”

Governor Mills and Economic Development Commissioner Heather Johnson have said they will look for ways to achieve those same protections without a 14-day quarantine, though they haven’t offered any details so far. Leaders of the tourism industry say they have ideas on how it can be done, and are eager to share them with the Mills administration.

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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