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South Portland Issues Stay At Home Order, Other Restrictions Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Troy R. Bennett
Bangor Daily News
A man takes a solitary walk around Bug Light Park in South Portland on Thursday morning. Signs posted in the park asked users to stay 6 feet away from each other and to stay at home if they felt ill.

South Portland has joined a number of other Southern Maine municipalities in issuing a stay-at-home order.City Manager Scott Morelli says the order is different than a "shelter-in-place" order which greatly restricts people's ability to leave their homes. He says residents are still able to leave their homes to acquire goods and services they might need.

"If they need to go pick up groceries for their home, they can do that," Morelli says. "If they need to go pick up a prescription at the pharmacy for a relative or a friend, they can still do that. If they want to go for a walk on one of our trails, or go for a jog in one of our parks, for example, they can still do that too."

The city is also prohibiting playground and outdoor fitness equipment use at public locations, increasing restrictions on senior care center visitors, and prohibiting the use of reusable bags in retail.

"This is just one of the ways that we're really trying to get ahead of the virus and learn from what other states are now experiencing that have had outbreaks of the virus for longer than we have," Morelli says.

The stay-at-home order will go into effect Friday at noon. No decision has made about when the city will lift the order. City buildings are closed to the public through April 13.