Portland City Hall. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

The Portland City Council has declared an emergency to allow it to keep meeting remotely while cases of coronavirus rise in the state.

The council has described the declaration as a “limited emergency” and it went into effect earlier this week. Mayor Kate Snyder told the Portland Press Herald that the move is “to protect the public’s health” and is “the prudent path to take.”

The city had been working on a path to open City Hall to more in-person services, but then coronavirus cases started to rise in Maine and elsewhere in the country. There are some limited in-person services available at City Hall, but many city functions have been moved online.

The state recorded its 900th death from coronavirus last week.