Governor Mills Signs Executive Order
Today, March 24, 2020, Governor Janet mills signed an Executive Order regarding the closing of non-essential businesses. The order is effective tomorrow, March 25, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and extends for a period of 14 days through April 8, 2020 at 12:00 a.m.
The Order mandates that all non-essential businesses and operations in Maine close their physical locations that are public facing, meaning those that allow customer, vendor, or other in-person contact. The Order also closes non-essential business sites that require more than ten workers to convene in a space where physical distancing is not possible. Non-essential businesses and operations may continue activities that do not involve these types of in-person contact and convenings. Non-essential businesses and operations should also facilitate the maximum number of employees working remotely.
Governor Mills strongly urged essential, public-facing businesses to immediately employ strategies to reduce congestion in their stores, including limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time, instituting special distancing practices for people waiting in lines, and enhancing curbside pick-up and delivery services.
Governor Mills also extended a previous order prohibiting gatherings of more than ten people and the closure of dine-in service at restaurants and bars in Maine to April 8, 2020 at 12:00 a.m.
The Order defines essential businesses as identified by the US Department of Homeland Security. If the function of your business is not listed, but you believe that it is essential, you may request designation as an essential business at https://www.maine.gov/essentialservice. Questions may also be directed to email@example.com.
Portland Issues Proclamation
Also, today, March 24, 2020, the City of Portland issued a Proclamation Declaring a Continued State of Emergency and Requirement to Stay at Home effective March 25, 2020 5:00 p.m.
The City of Portland is calling for non-essential business to shut down workspaces and operate only if they can do so remotely, although it also allows exceptions. The order also calls for all residents to stay home, leaving only to access essential services or to exercise outdoors or walk pets. Residents are to maintain a social distance of six feet while doing so. Grocery stores, restaurants offering carry-out, pharmacies, and health care facilities will remain open. Residents are still permitted to travel to and from those locations.
Non-essential businesses may continue to access their brick-and-mortar premises in order to conduct essential business functions including, but not limited to, processing mail, depositing checks, completing payroll and paying vendors; as long as social distancing requirements are being implemented, and the fewest number of employees possible are on premises when conducting such services. Places of worship are not required to close their buildings to employees or the public but must maintain social distancing guidelines already set forth and limit gatherings to under ten people.
The Proclamation will last for five days until Monday, March 30, when the City Council will have a chance to debate whether to extend it.
The Town of Falmouth's Emergency Management Team is closely monitoring this rapidly evolving situation. We will continue to provide regular updates to the community through E-Alerts, social media, and our Emergency Management COVID-19 webpage.