PORTLAND, Maine — Governor Janet Mills could be looking to tighten restrictions after the largest spike in COVID-19 cases the state has seen since the start of the pandemic.
The Maine CDC reported an uptick of 103 positive cases of coronavirus Friday.
"Governor Mills is deeply concerned about rising COVID-19 cases within the State of Maine and across the country," Lindsey Crete, a spokesperson for the governor told NEWS CENTER Maine.
Crete said Mills is "considering changes to indoor gathering limits" as well as changes to travel restrictions for out-of-staters and the date bars and tasting rooms can reopen.
Monday was supposed to be the next phase of Mill's reopening plan to ease limits on indoor gatherings and allow bars to open back up, but the continued increase in cases over the last week will likely change that.
"Governor Mills is very apprehensive about the spread of this deadly virus as we face colder weather and holidays that generally encourage gatherings of all sorts," Crete said. "Unfortunately, if we do not each take aggressive actions, this virus will be the uninvited guest to our family dinners and social gatherings."
Maine's CDC Director, Dr. Nirav Shah, tweeted a bold warning Friday morning.
"Take action now," Shah wrote. "For your sake, and the sake of your family and community, wear a mask and stay apart. This is serious."
This comes as many Maine families a looking forward to celebrating over the Halloween weekend.
South Portland resident Kevin Huddy was hesitant to do his usual massive yard display he has been putting up for the last 10 years.
"I wasn't going to do it because of COVID," he said. "I didn't want to draw a crowd."
But interest from members of the community convinced him otherwise. The display complete with skeletons, a ship, and a massive lighthouse covers his front yard.
This year he is also installing a nine-foot candy chute using a drainage pipe to make sure kids get their candy safely.
"We're just hoping everyone plays by the rules," Huddy said.
In Portland's Old Port, the owners of bars and restaurants that are still crippled by ongoing restrictions are hoping anyone looking to celebrate plays by the rules too.
"You know people being diligent as best they can while they live their lives," Joe Christopher, owner of Three Dollar Deweys said. "I mean we need to stay open."
Public health expert Dr. Dora Mills told NEWS CENTER Maine the current trend in positive cases could soon be considered a "surge."
While there has been an increase in testing statewide, the large number of cases is still alarming to experts.
Mills said there is a notable increase in community spread as more and more people expand their social circles and gather indoors.
"We are really on the cusp. We are at the top of this cliff. We have got to be careful," she said. "This is absolutely the time to hunker down."
The Governor is expected to announce any changes to restrictions over the weekend.