PORTLAND, Maine — Editor’s note: You are starting to hear the term ‘flattening the curve’ as a way to stem the tide of coronavirus cases. The above video explains what that means. 

Mayor Kate Snyder and Portland City Manager Jon Jennings announced Tuesday at a 3 p.m. press conference that the City Manager has signed an emergency stay at home order for all non-essential businesses and services in Portland. 

The order goes into effect at 5 p.m. on Wednesday and has measures that apply to both residents and businesses. The order is good for five days, and any extensions will have to be approved by the City Council, which is expected to host a remote meeting on Monday, March 30. 

The stay at home order is in response to the need to lessen the community spread of the global pandemic, COVID-19.

“I was propelled to take this action based on the data we have related to the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Southern Maine,” City Manager Jon Jennings said. “This was not an easy decision to make given the impacts it will further have on our economy, but my hope in doing this stay at home order now is that if we restrict as many activities as possible for a short time, then we can re-emerge from this crisis sooner. It is essential for anyone living in Cumberland or York counties to take this very seriously. We can flatten the curve in Southern Maine if we act now.”

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“With 90 of 118 confirmed cases in Southern Maine, we are obligated to take additional measures to protect public health,” Mayor Kate Snyder said. “We know this is a person to person virus that requires vigilant social distancing in order to stem the spread. Portland’s early actions laid the base for today’s additional, aggressively cautious measures. The City Council is in support of the Manager’s action, and appreciative of this expansion of efforts that seeks to safeguard people, and alleviate the inevitable strain on our health care system.”

Portland’s City Code (Chapter 2, section 2-406) authorizes the City Manager to issue an emergency proclamation when a civil emergency exists. It further allows for the City Manager and the Council to exercise emergency powers to protect life and property, restrict the movement of persons within the city, and other regulations necessary to preserve the public peace, health, and safety (Chapter 2, section 2-408).

About the Emergency Order

The order is issued in accordance with, and incorporates by reference, the March 15, 2020 Executive Order issued by Governor Janet T. Mills.

More specifically, the following provisions should still be complied with within the City of Portland:

Anyone wishing to report violations related to this order can call the Portland Police Department at 207-874-8479.

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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