Governor Mills Presents Safe, Gradual Plan to Restart Maineís Economy

The Plan to Restart Maineís Economy 

The staged plan builds on the Governorís current Executive Orders, which already allows  grocery stores, pharmacies, financial institutions, home repair services, child care agencies, and car repair services, among others, to operate, and then allows for the safe reopening of those businesses not currently operating. The upcoming four stages as contemplated by the Governorís plan are:

 

Stage 1 (May): Beginning May 1st, Stage 1 continues the prohibition on gatherings of more than 10 people, the quarantine of all people entering or returning to Maine for a period of 14 days, and the special precautions for older Mainers and others at risk of COVID-19. It  calls for people who are able to work from home to continue to do so, including State employees. It will also newly require that Maine people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain, and continue strict requirements for long-term care facilities. Guidance on cloth face coverings will be issued in the coming days. Stage 1 also allows for the limited expansion of certain business, religious, and quality of life activities, with appropriate safety precautions...

 

Stage 2 (June): Tentatively beginning June 1st, Stage 2 contemplates revising the limitation on gatherings from less than 10 people to less than 50 people. It also calls for people who can work from home to continue to do so but allows for employees in certain fields to begin to reenter the office as needed, including State employees. It maintains the 14 day quarantine for all people entering or returning to Maine and the special precautions for older Mainers and others at risk of COVID-19. With appropriate safety precautions, Stage 2 would allow for some degree of opening with reservations, capacity limits, and other measures...

 

Stage 3 (July & August): Tentatively beginning July 1st, Stage 3 contemplates maintaining the prohibition on gatherings of more than 50 people and other Stage 1 and Stage 2 restrictions, including the 14-day quarantine on people entering Maine. With appropriate safety precautions, Stage 3 would allow for some degree of opening...

 

Stage 4 (Timeline Undetermined): Stage 4 contemplates lifting restrictions and allowing all businesses and activities to resume with appropriate safety precautions

The stages outlined above are advanced as a framework for planning. Innovations or expanded testing and other capacity could accelerate this pace, as could a determination that certain parts of Maine, such as some rural areas, may be able to ease restrictions safely. At the same time, a surge in COVID-19 in parts or all of Maine could result in significant adjustments to this plan and a return to more restrictions.

 

Establishing Safety Precautions: In order to reopen, various sectors of Maineís economy will be required to work with the Department of Economic and Community Development to implement practical, reasonable, evidence-informed safety protocols and modifications that protect the health and safety of employees and customers. These accommodations may be as simple as closing break rooms, providing flexible working hours, employee training, and installing plexiglass shields, or as complex as adjusting a businessí sales process and reducing occupancy to ensure employee and customer safety.