Gov. Janet Mills on Tuesday issued a "stay healthy at home" order for the state of Maine as a means of slowing the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

The order requires that Mainers must remain at home unless they need to leave for an essential job or essential activity.

The order will go into effect at midnight on April 2 and lasts until April 30.

The order requires people living in Maine to stay at home at all times unless for an essential job or an essential personal reason, such as obtaining food, medicine, health care, or other necessary purposes.

Essential jobs are defined under Mills’ March 24 executive order outlining essential businesses and operations.

"We are in the midst of one of the greatest public health crises this world has seen in more than a century. This virus will continue to sicken people across our state; our cases will only grow, and more people will die. I say this to be direct, to be as honest with you as I can. Because saving lives will depend on us," Mills said.

"I implore you – look to yourself, your family, your friends, your loved ones, your neighbors on the front lines, first responders and health care workers fighting the virus, those who can’t stay home; the children who live around the corner, the farmer who grows your food, the grocer and the pharmacist who sell you goods, the teachers who are missing their kids; the fisherman, the sailor, the truck driver, the janitor, the waitress at your favorite diner; these are the people you are protecting by staying home. This is who you are saving," she continued.

The order states that essential personal activities include the following with relation to an individual, their family, household members, pets, or livestock:

  1. Obtaining necessary supplies for household consumption or use, such as groceries, and supplies and equipment needed to work from home, laundry, and products needed to maintain safety, sanitation, and essential maintenance of the home or residence.
  2. Obtaining medication or medical supplies and seeking medical or behavioral health or emergency services.
  3. Providing care, including transportation, of oneself, a family member, friend, pet or livestock in another household or location for essential health and safety activities and to obtain necessary supplies and services.
  4. Traveling to and from an educational institution for purposes of receiving meals or instructional materials for distance learning.
  5. Engaging in outdoor exercise activities, such as walking, hiking, running, or biking, but, only in compliance with the social gathering restriction in Executive Order 14 and all applicable social distancing guidance published by the U.S. and Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  6. Travel required by a law enforcement officer or court order; and
  7. Traveling to and from a federal, State, or local government building for a necessary purpose.

Maine is one of 33 states with stay-at-home orders.

As of Tuesday, March 31, there were 303 confirmed cases of cornavirus in Maine. There have been five deaths. The most recent numbers show 68 Mainers have recovered from the virus and released from isolation.

This story will be updated.

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