PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine is not planning to return to stay-at-home orders at the moment despite a rise in coronavirus cases around the state, public health officials said Monday.
Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew said the state is in the midst of implementing new safety measures put in place by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills last week. Those include a requirement to wear a face covering in all public settings, regardless of the ability to socially distance.
Lambrew said “nothing is off the table” to stop the spread of the virus, but a return to the stay-at-home order Mills issued in the spring is not currently planned.
“Our goal is to keep public health as our North Star, but to allow people to engage in those essential functions and important functions as much as possible, as long as it doesn't interfere with our goals,” Lambrew said.
The Maine DHHS also announced new testing sites at Portland International Jetport and Downtown Auburn Transportation Center. The new sites are the product of a partnership with Promerica Health, a DHHS spokesperson said in a statement.
In other news related to the coronavirus pandemic in Maine:
New cases of the coronavirus in the state are continuing to surge. An additional 204 coronavirus cases have been reported in the state, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.
The 7-day rolling average of new daily cases has also risen from 41 new cases per day on Oct. 25 to 161 new cases per day on Nov. 8.
The state reported that the number of deaths held at 152.
The new cases brought the total of coronavirus cases reported in Maine to over 7,800.
The University of Maine said 10 employees who work in facilities management at the university have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The university said it’s working to contain the virus by temporarily closing the facilities management office building and utilizing contact tracing and testing. All but one of the 10 employees work in an administrative role and they are all isolating in private residences, the university said.
“We are hopeful that all individuals in our communities who have tested positive and are afflicted or impacted by COVID-19 will have good health and rapid recovery, and will experience quarantine and isolation periods that progress easily,” said UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy.
The university said Sunday there is a total of 27 known cases of students and employees across the entire University of Maine System who are currently in isolation due to the virus.