LEWISTON, Maine — In a public health warning issued Tuesday, Lewiston Mayor Mark Cayer urged people to practice social distancing, otherwise, he would issue a “shelter in place” order.
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah and Gov. Janet Mills have emphasized the importance of social distancing since the coronavirus outbreak officially reached Maine on March 12.
"I do want to underscore the need for everyone to heed the advice for social distancing," Dr. Shah said Wednesday in the daily coronavirus press briefing.
Cayer said, “‘Social Distancing’ is not a buzz word; it is behavior that saves lives. Coronavirus is in Maine, is in Androscoggin County, and we all need to work together to stop transmission.”
There are four confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Androscoggin County according to the Maine Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as of Wednesday. There are 142 total cases in Maine.
The mayor’s public health warning says he will issue a “shelter in place” order if social distancing isn’t followed. The order would require individuals to stay at their residence unless seeking necessities such as good or medical assistance.
The City of Portland issued a stay home order Tuesday, which goes into effect Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Cayer says he also supports Mills’ Executive Order that mandates all non-essential businesses and operations that are public-facing close statewide. The order also bans gatherings of 10 or more people.
“Coronavirus is a public health emergency, and Lewiston residents must immediately cease close contact with others, Cayer said. “This is absolutely necessary to stop the transmission of this highly contagious, dangerous virus.”
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