In this March 17, 2021, file photo, pigeons take to the air from a sign at the Auburn Mall. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque announced Tuesday that the citywide COVID-19 emergency declaration has been lifted.

The order helped to support and enhance federal and state emergency declarations, but Levesque felt that there was no longer a need for additional citywide restrictions that echo those ordered by Gov. Janet Mills, according to the Lewiston Sun Journal.

The decision to lift the emergency declaration will not alter the state requirements that businesses are expected to uphold.

Levesque told the Sun Journal that he took into consideration the statewide vaccination rates, which show that over half of adults have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

“[As vaccination rates have risen, the] threat level has decreased within Auburn, we do not see the need to take any draconian steps in the future that we had the power to take,” Levesque said.

He noted that some residents are concerned that he was sending the message that people would not have to wear masks or get vaccinated by lifting the emergency order.

“That’s not the intent. The intent is really to relinquish those powers that are not needed, and that’s it,” he said.

The mayor of neighboring Lewiston has said that city officials are continuing to monitor the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s data on community health, and will evaluate the state of emergency as more information is available.

Auburn officials continue to provide information on COVID-19 safety, and encourage its residents to continue to practice precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.