Maine Gov. Janet Mills said Friday she is extending through Jan. 3 a requirement that some businesses close by 9 p.m. amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Mills initiated the policy prior to Thanksgiving and originally said it would apply to some businesses until Dec. 6.
The rules apply to all outdoor and indoor entertainment venues, performing arts venues, casinos, movie theaters, and businesses that provide seated food and drink. That includes social clubs, restaurants, bars and tasting rooms.
“It's too early to know the impact of the Thanksgiving holiday on the spread of COVID-19 in Maine,” Mills said, "but with hundreds of people getting sick all across the state, and many more dying and so many receiving critical care in our overburdened hospitals, we cannot afford to let down our guard.”
The number of new coronavirus cases in the state hovered near 300 again on Friday.
The Maine Center for Disease Control reported 290 additional cases, along with four deaths, on Friday. Again, new cases were reported in all but one of Maine's 16 counties.
The seven-day average of daily cases is 228. The seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Maine did not increase or decease over the past two weeks, staying at 2.13% from Nov. 19 to Thursday.
State health departments are calculating positivity rate differently across the country, but for Maine the AP calculates the rate by dividing new cases by test specimens using data from The COVID Tracking Project.
The worst stretch of the pandemic comes as pharmaceutical companies, the federal government and the Maine health department prepare to roll out distribution of vaccines this month.