April 01, 2020
Portland Latest News | Coronavirus | Bangor Metro | Pandemics | Today's Paper

South Portland orders residents to stay home

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
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.

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South Portland said Thursday that residents must stay at home, following similar restrictions imposed by the city of Portland earlier this week.

The or de r by City Manager Scott Morelli came after Mayor Katherin Lewis on Tuesday issued a state of emergency in the city.

[Our COVID-19 tracker contains the most recent information on Maine cases by county]

It comprises four emergency regulations. Residents must stay at home unless they are doing something essential. They may not use playground and outdoor fitness equipment at city parks, beaches and outdoor recreation facilities. There are new restrictions on visitors to senior care facilities. The use of reusable bags is prohibited at all retail establishments.

The regulations take effect at noon on Friday. Portland’s regulations went into effect at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Residents can go outside for five essential activities. They can seek emergency or health care services or get medical supplies. They can get necessary supplies such as groceries and household goods and get their cars repaired. They can go to and from a workplace in an essential industry to perform a necessary job or service. They can leave home to care for family, friends or pets. And they can engage in outdoor activities as long as they keep a social distance of 6 feet.

Individuals experiencing homelessness are exempt from the regulation, as are those whose residences are or become unsafe, such as those experiencing domestic violence.

The city said the stay-at-home requirement is not the same as a shelter-in-place order, which means individuals cannot leave their location for any reason until an “all clear” signal is issued.

[Read our full coronavirus coverage here]

Failure to comply with the order is punishable by a fine of at least $100 but not more than $5,000 per incident plus the costs of prosecution. Portland also has imposed a fine for infractions of $500 per incident plus any costs of prosecution.

“All of these actions, combined with prior city decisions to cancel in-person meetings, close city facilities to the public and order non-essential municipal employees to work from home, will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in South Portland and save lives,” Morelli said. “We ask for the public’s cooperation during this period so we can help ensure our health and safety and not overwhelm our first responders and health professionals.”

 


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