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Janet Mills Considers Tightening Restrictions As Maine CDC Reports 103 COVID-19 Cases

Robert F. Bukaty
Associated Press
Alex Mukai checks the temperature of a man in line to attend a campaign event for Sara Gideon, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus at the Town Mall, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, in Brunswick, Maine.

Gov. Janet Mills is considering changes to indoor gathering limits and travel restrictions as COVID-19 cases surge in Maine.

In an emailed statement, a Mills spokesperson said an announcement was likely to be made this weekend.

“Like most Maine families, Governor Mills is very apprehensive about the spread of this deadly virus as we face colder weather and holidays that generally encourage gatherings of all sorts,” the statement read. “Unfortunately, if we do not each take aggressive actions, this virus will be the uninvited guest to our family dinners and social gatherings.”

In addition to gathering and travel limits, the statement says Mills is also considering changes to Monday’s planned reopening of bars, tasting rooms and distilleries and additional support for adherence to public health requirements.

The statement comes as Maine’s new daily case numbers of COVID-19 once again reach an all-time high, with the CDC reporting 103 cases on Friday. There are new cases in nearly every county in the state, and the total number of active cases is 929.

The director of the Maine CDC, Dr. Nirav Shah, noted that Maine’s positivity rate has nearly doubled in the past two weeks. It’s currently at 0.83 percent.

No new deaths have been reported — 146 fatalities have stood since Oct. 17.

With Halloween just a day away, Shah is urging people to look at CDC guidance on how to celebrate safely during the pandemic.

He says he’s less concerned about trick or treating, and more concerned about adult gatherings.

“Those are the ones — those small gatherings — where, unbeknownst to anybody, COVID-19 could be a part of those parties,” Shah says. “That’s where I really want everyone to wear a face covering, where they’re hanging out at their friend’s house, with their neighbors. Those are the places that I am particularly concerned about right now.”