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This week’s edition!

Governor Mills: Stay healthy. Stay Home.

We are in the midst of one of the greatest public health crises this world has seen in more than a century.

This virus will continue to sicken people across our state and our country; our cases will grow, and unfortunately, more people will die.

I say this to be direct, to be as honest with you as I can and because saving lives depends on all of us.

Effective Thursday morning, April 2, until at least April 30, I have ordered all Maine people to stay at home. Leave only if you work in an essential business or to do an essential activity, such as getting groceries, or going to the pharmacy, or getting medical care, caring for a family member outside your home, or going for a walk, a run, a hike, fishing or walking a pet. But while you are out, you have to maintain six feet distance from other people other than immediate family or household members.

I have ordered people not to use public transportation unless it’s for an essential reason or for some job that cannot be done from home. For those who travel in their own vehicles, you must limit passengers to persons within your immediate household unless you are transporting someone for a medical or public health reason.

I have ordered essential stores that do remain open to limit the number of customers inside the store at any one time, to also adopt curb-side pickup and delivery options as much as possible, and to enforce the recommended physical distancing requirements for customers and staff in and around their facilities.

I have ordered the continued closure of schools for classroom and in-person instruction until at least May 1. Traveling to and from a school for purposes of receiving meals or instructional materials for distance learning is allowed.

While I cannot simply close the State’s border, or pull up the Maine-New Hampshire Bridge as some people have suggested, I have issued a new travel order, effective immediately, requiring that anyone entering Maine self-quarantine for 14 days at home and obey Maine’s Stay Healthy at Home Order.

There will be a few exceptions for essential travel, but basically, if you don’t need to come to Maine right now for an essential purpose, please don’t.

This is difficult on all of us, but if we pull together, we can and will defeat this virus. Maine is a welcoming state, and we do welcome the many servicemembers, Coast Guard folks and medical professionals and so many people who are here to help us. I ask Maine people not to make assumptions about others or their license plate, and we welcome the cooperation of other visitors and returning residents in quarantining themselves and keeping us all safe in accordance with my travel order. Let us treat all people in Maine with compassion and kindness. That is how we will get through this.

If we all do our part, you and your family can stay safe. And the sooner we all take all these measures, the sooner we can flatten that curve, avoid the surge, and be safe once again as a state.

So, do your part: Stay apart. If you love your neighbor, your family, if you love this state, as I do, please, don’t travel. Stay healthy. Stay home.

God bless you and yours and keep you all safe. And may God bless the State of Maine.

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