Governor Asks for Public Input on Reopening State Economy
Governor Janet Mills announced today an online portal where the public can offer ideas about the eventual reopening of the state in the wake of COVID-19.
On Thursday, Governor Mills attended the Maine CDC's daily press briefing to talk about the eventual return to normal in Maine, and said that it's not something that will happen all at once. She said the state is "pursuing a cautious reopening" and cited four steps that must take place first:
- Protecting Public Health - The state will continue to rely on epidemiological data, like case trends, hospitalization rates, recoveries and deaths, to inform decisions with the private sector regarding the appropriateness of lifting restrictions.
- Maintaining Health Care Readiness - The state will continue to work closely with hospitals and health systems to assess system capacity, including available hospital beds, ICU beds and ventilators, etc. The goal is to make sure Maine's healthcare system is ready to respond to any surge in the virus.
- Building Reliable and Accessible Testing - The state is actively seeking to expand testing to make it more accessible to Maine residents. At this point, the testing capacity for all symptomatic people is a challenge.
- Prioritizing Public-Private Collaboration - Collaboration and leadership among businesses, employees, government entities, and the public is vital to adapting guidelines and safe practices. 'Government alone cannot fix things, government doesn't have all the answers; we need the best thinking of Maine people from every industry and every corner of the state to re-imagine and reinvent how we do things in this state in a way that protects both lives and livelihoods.'
To that end, the governor is asking to hear from employers, small business owners, employees, contractors, and members of the public who have suggestions on how to make the reopening work. She said it could be suggestions about big changes, or small changes like putting up plastic dividers, limiting travel, etc. The portal can be found on the Maine DECD website.
On Thursday, the Maine CDC reported 937 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 44 deaths, which was an increase of 5 deaths. All five were Veterans staying at the Maine Veterans Home in Scarborough.