Seasonal Maine Residents to Quarantine for 14 Days Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Gov. Janet Mills is ordering people arriving in Maine to self-quarantine for two weeks

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As Maine inches towards summer, seasonal residents are beginning to arrive to a state changed by COVID-19.

One of the those changes is a requirement to quarantine for 14 days by order of Gov. Janet Mills.

For weeks, LED signs on state highways have advised non-essential visitors to self-quarantine after Mills' order was issued, carrying with it punishments of up to six months in jail or a $1,000 fine.

However, according to state public safety spokesman Steve McCausland, law enforcement's involvement is typically just a gentle warning.

"Many times, if there's a violation, it's not blatant, it's a misunderstanding," he said. "The vast majority of people, both from away and in-state, want to do the right thing."

One of those people observing the quarantine right now is Rich Hornor, who has spent summers in Maine for "close to 50 years."

He rents a red cottage in Bristol every summer and was in the first few days of self-isolating there on Tuesday.

"I'm looking forward to the 14 days being over so I can visit some of the shops that are open," he said.

For Hornor, the waiting isn't as much of a problem as the unknowns he's trying to measure, since he rents out the cottage.

As new information about the pandemic comes in day by day, he's telling renters what to expect, refunding some of them or coming up with another plan for them to schedule a trip at a later time.

The cutoff for him is July 1.

Without a clear set of guidelines of what to do by that point, Hornor feels he'll incur a higher amount of financial loss.

"If you don't know what you can do by July 1, you lose the peak seasons for income," he said. "I'm looking at getting about 20% of the revenue I typically get."

"It's largely break-even between the cost on the property and the mortgage," he went on to explain. "I have applied for an economic injury loan and got an initial loan of $1,000."

That has been of some comfort to Hornor, but he's still hoping for more clarity soon to salvage as much of summer 2020 as possible.

However, when asked about when the quarantine restrictions might ease on Tuesday, Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said the end date is entirely dependent on COVID-19 data in Maine and other states.

"When I say we're data driven, that's what we refer to," he explained. "We're evaluating everything that's in place."

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