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Number Of Maine Coronavirus Cases Rises To 42, Mills Issues Executive Order With New Restrictions

Maine Public
Maine Gov. Janet Mills announces a ban on dining in at Maine restaurants, at a news conferernce Wednesday in Augusta.

The tally of cases of COVID-19 in Maine is now 42. Most cases are still in Cumberland County, but the updated results include the first case in Penobscot County.Maine Center for Disease Control Director Dr. Nirav Shah says four people are hospitalized, and one person has already recovered.

To stem the spread of the disease, Maine Gov. Janet Mills has ordered all restaurants to close to dine-in customers for the next 14 days, starting Wednesday at 6:00 pm.

Speaking at a daily press briefing in Augusta, Mills also announced that she is also prohibiting all gatherings of more than 10 people that are not work-related.

"In addition, while I'm not mandating, I would strongly urge non-essential public-facing businesses, such as gyms, hair salons, theaters, casinos, shopping malls, to close their doors for the next two weeks to minimize public gatherings and the spread of the virus," Mills said.

“I do not take these steps lightly,” Mills said. “Maine’s small businesses and their workers are the backbone of our economy, and I understand that these actions will not only impact them, they will also disrupt the lives of Maine people. However, COVID-19 continues to spread across Maine, and experts have been clear that implementing social distancing that includes these measures is the most effective method to mitigate its spread and to protect public health."

Mills says her administration is committed to working with businesses and employees affected by the coronavirus.

Updated March 18, 2020 at 12:48 p.m. ET.