Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support our critical reporting on the coronavirus by purchasing a digital subscription or donating directly to the newsroom.
For the second time, Gov. Janet Mills extended her civil state of emergency proclamation for another month on Wednesday, giving her more time to access federal funding and use certain powers to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The first extension, slated to end on Friday, gave Mills the ability to suspend the enforcement of laws, establish emergency reserves of certain products and allows the state to access federal funding to mitigate the outbreak.
The order now extends until June 11 and the change marks Mills’ second extension of the proclamation. Every state in the nation has declared a state of emergency since the pandemic began to roll onto U.S. shores. Vermont Gov. Phil Scott announced earlier this week he also intends to renew his proclamation, Mills said in a statement released Wednesday.
The extension allows the state government to continue 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,” Mills said. “It also allows us to continue to draw critical federal resources that help us equip frontline workers with needed protective equipment and to use Federal resources to support the state’s response.”
The State of Emergency proclamation is separate from the governor’s executive orders and the Restarting Maine’s Economy plan. The executive orders and plan remain in effect and unchanged, she said.
Mills’ order comes with Wednesday’s announcement that Maine now has 1,515 cases of COVID-19 across all of Maine’s counties since March, according to Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Nirav Shah. That’s up from 1,477 on Tuesday.
Of those, 1,372 have been confirmed positive, while 143 are likely positive, according to Shah. The latest coronavirus death was a woman in her 90s from Cumberland County, bringing the statewide death toll to 66.
Watch: Maine CDC coronavirus press conference, May 13