Gov. Janet Mills has extended her 30-day coronavirus civil state of emergency proclamation for the fifth time since the pandemic began, lauding Mainers on Wednesday for “taking the tough but necessary steps” to stay safe from the virus.
The fourth extension, due to lapse Friday, gives Mills the ability to suspend the enforcement of laws, establish emergency reserves of certain products and allows the state to access federal funding to mitigate the outbreak.
The order now extends until Sept. 4 and with it, Maine stays with nearly every other state in the nation in maintaining states of emergency. New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu renewed his State of Emergency as well, Mills said in a short statement released Wednesday.
“Maine people have taken the tough but necessary steps to protect the health and safety of us all, and it is their actions that are allowing our economy to reopen in a gradual and safe manner,” Mills said in her statement. “But we cannot let our guard down. This deadly virus is still with us, and while I am proud of the progress Maine has made, we are not immune from the surges we have seen in other states. We must all stay vigilant and stay safe.”
As of Aug. 3, adjusted for population, Maine ranks third lowest in the nation in positive cases; eighth lowest in the nation in terms of deaths; fourth lowest in terms of patients ever-hospitalized out of the 36 states reporting; and fifth highest in the percentage of people who have recovered out of the 42 states reporting, Mills said.
Under Maine law, State of Civil Emergency Proclamations may only be issued in 30 day increments.