AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Center for Disease Control instated new rules for its daily COVID-19 press briefing aimed at slowing the spread of the disease on Monday.
Multiple television cameras are no longer allowed into the press conferences with CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah in order to limit the number of people in the small media room. Instead, at today’s press briefing, Maine Public provided one camera and other stations accessed the feed from an output box on the edge of the parking lot outside.
“Maine CDC chose to move the site of Dr. Shah’s briefings as an effort to minimize risk to the media,” CDC Communications Director Robert Long said.
The briefing has moved from a state office building to the more secure Maine Emergency Management Agency facility on the edge of town. Journalists allowed inside were first screened with a thermometer and asked five health-related questions. They also were required to sanitize their hands before entering.
Once inside, journalists were asked to stay at least 6 feet apart from one another and offered more hand sanitizer.
“We are striving to adhere to the same physical distancing practices for which Dr. Shah advocates,” Long said. “We appreciate the Maine media’s flexibility and recognition of the need to balance access with protecting the health of reporters, interpreters, and camera people.”
The BDN will stream the press briefing on its website here around noon on weekdays.