MAINE, USA — Pat Callaghan sat down with Gov. Janet Mills Friday to talk about the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic, including how she would like the Defense Department to modify contracts and relax deadlines so that workers at Bath Iron Works can be protected.
Mills said she didn't want to upend people's lives by ending dining in restaurants and restricting the size of gatherings, but she said in recent days it became clear that it was necessary.
"You know, people like to have dinner parties, they like to have birthday parties and we're telling them don't do it. If you have a couple of people over for dinner, keep your space. Try to keep six feet away from each other."
There have been questions about whether Bath Iron Works, given the nature of their work and the number of people work there should be temporarily closed.
"I'm concerned about the safety and health of the thousands of people who work at BIW," Mills said. "It's very hard for them to accommodate spacing, social distancing as we call it, physical distancing, and other measures to protect their health and safety and that of their families. so I'm concerned about that."
"I'm hoping that the federal government will take appropriate measures to allow Bath Iron Works, to allow their employees to stagger their work hours, to stagger their requirements and let them go home, allow them to go home allow them to have paid leave, paid for by the federal government."
Gov. Mills said she knows how hard it has been and will continue to be to follow her executive orders to rely only on take-out from restaurants and avoid public gatherings.
Mills won't speculate on whether more stringent steps will be needed. She is working to make sure Mainers can get food, and that the federal government pitches in to help with the manufacture of medical supplies.
Mills also said she is urging the defense department to make contract and deadline adjustments that would allow Bath Iron Works to have them to go home and allow them to have leave, paid for by the federal government.
Watch Gov. Mills' full interview:
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