AUGUSTA, Maine — As Maine faces a concerning trend in an increased number of daily coronavirus cases, Gov. Janet Mills has extended the state of emergency proclamation another 30 days through Nov. 27.
The Mills administration says the Governor's decision "is in line with nearly every other state in the nation which have ongoing emergency declarations."
“Rising case counts show that this virus is still very much among us and we must take every precaution to slow its spread,” Mills said in a release Thursday. “If we protect ourselves and protect one another by washing our hands frequently, maintaining six feet distance between ourselves and others, and wearing a face covering whenever possible, we can limit the spread of this dangerous virus, ensure our businesses survive these colder months, and keep our schools open as we enter winter.”
A "State of Civil Emergency" allows Maine to draw down critical federal resources and to deploy all available tools to respond to and contain COVID-19. This is Mills’ eighth extension of the emergency declaration. Under Maine law, proclamations of civil emergencies may be issued in thirty-day increments.
This week, Maine has seen a significant increase in daily cases—in the past five days, 330 additional cases have been reported by the Maine CDC. Wednesday's increase of 76 cases was the second-highest single-day increase, while Thursday's increase of 80 cases broke the record.
Mills held a previously unscheduled press conference Wednesday with Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah in response to the concerning trend. Mills said the jump in cases is a warning that Mainers may be letting their guard down and urged people to be a lot more vigilant about precautions against spreading or contracting COVID-19.
“We know we in Maine are not immune from this virus,” Mills said. “We know COVID thrives on the slightest hint of complacency on the part of our people. How do we control it? The answer is with every one of us.”