Governor Janet T. Mills announced today a rural reopening plan for retail stores and restaurants in twelve (12) northern counties where the case count of COVID-19 has been low and community transmission has not been established.*
Cumberland, York, Androscoggin and Penobscot Counties are not included in these immediate relaxations of restrictions. Their reopening date, Stage 2, continues to be June 1st.
Specifically, starting on Monday, May 11th retail stores in northern counties can open subject to practicing clean and sanitary practices, limiting the number of customers at a time and encouraging touch free transactions. On Monday, May 18th, restaurants in those same twelve counties will be permitted to open while practicing enhanced safety precautions. These relaxations align with reopenings in New Hampshire.
Remote campsites as well as sporting camps are permitted to reopen with health safeguards on May 18th in the twelve counties the Governor announced. They will be open to Maine residents and those who have participated in the 14 day quarantine.
“With low case counts, no evidence of community transmission and now expanded testing capacity, we believe it is appropriate to gradually lift some limitations on certain businesses in our rural counties with health and safety precautions to protect public health,” said Governor Mills.
“The IDEXX agreement adds an important testing safeguard,” said Dr. Nirav D. Shah, Director of the MaineCDC. “Coupled with increased contact tracing it provides MaineCDC with essential resources needed to continue the process of protecting public health.” (See previous post herein for more details in the ‘game changing’ partnership with IDEXX).
- The twelve northern counties referred to in the first paragraph include: Aroostook, Piscataquis, Washington, Hancock, Somerset, Franklin, Oxford, Kennebec, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln and Sagadahoc.