Maine

Maine Steps Up Mask Rules, Extends State of Emergency

A mask mandate applies to businesses in Hancock, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Cumberland and York counties as well as the cities of Bangor, Brewer, Lewiston, Auburn and Augusta

Maine has extended its state of civil emergency and is requiring masks in more places.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills said Wednesday that she extended the state of emergency until Aug. 6. Mills has said the state of emergency allows the state's government to "deploy all available resources to protect the health and safety of Maine people and to respond quickly and as-needed to the COVID-19 pandemic."

The governor also issued an executive order Wednesday requiring many businesses to enforce mask rules.

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"It is important that we wear face coverings as people begin to interact more and more," Mills said in a statement. "Doing so can slow the spread of COVID-19, protect the health and safety of those around us, support businesses and allow us to safely reopen our economy."

The executive order mandates businesses require face coverings in retail stores with more than 50,000 square feet of shopping space, restaurants, outdoor bars or tasting rooms, and lodging establishments.

The order applies to businesses in Hancock, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Cumberland and York counties. The cities of Bangor, Brewer, Lewiston, Auburn and Augusta are also included in the executive order.

"Research shows that face coverings help limit potential transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19," Dr. Nirav D. Shah, Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement. "Wearing a face covering in public places where physical distancing is difficult shows respect for others and reduces the risk that the virus could spread as more people move about Maine."

NBC10 Boston and Associated Press
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