Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Maine, US, order people entering the state to self-isolate for 14 days until at least April 30. Stay-at-home orders in place.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Bangor, Maine
  • Portland, Maine
  • Presque Isle, Maine
  • Augusta, Maine
  • Lewiston-Auburn, Maine

This alert began 06 Apr 2020 14:05 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Maine (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 30
  • Impact: Movement and travel restrictions, significant transport and business disruptions, heightened security

Summary
Maine Governor Janet Mills issued a new executive order requiring all travelers entering the state to self-quarantine for 14 days, and all lodging businesses to close until at least April 30, as part of the state's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Any person entering Maine for nonessential services must self-quarantine for 14 days since the moment of their arrival, including state residents returning from a trip. Visitors with COVID-19 symptoms or those coming from areas more affected by the virus, including the states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, should avoid traveling to Maine. Authorities have also ordered all lodging businesses to close until at least April 30, with the exception of those providing housing to vulnerable populations, healthcare workers,or places operating for self-quarantine purposes.

Authorities have maintained orders requiring residents to remain at their homes until at least April 30. Residents may leave their homes only to perform essential tasks, such as obtain basic goods, attend to a health issue, care for a person, or to go to work at a business considered essential. Residents may also perform outdoor recreational activities, including fishing, walking, and biking, but only while maintaining a proper distance from others and avoiding gatherings. The orders also require citizens to limit the use of public transport as much as possible. In-person lessons at schools will remain canceled until at least May 1. Essential businesses that remain open are also required to limit the people present within their premises at the same time.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities will almost certainly deploy additional security personnel to assist in enforcing the measure. Officials could amend the order on short notice, depending on the disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Maine authorities are similar to actions adopted by other governments in the US and globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
WHO coronavirus knowledge base: www.who.int

Government of Maine - COVID-19 Updates: www.maine.gov/governor/mills/covid-19

Governor of Maine - Stay at Home Order: www.maine.gov/governor/mills/news

Governor of Maine - Travel Restrictions: www.maine.gov/governor/mills/sites