BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor City Council meeting on Monday, March 23 looked a little different than usual. Instead of gathering in person, most city councilors chimed in via Zoom to discuss city policies amidst coronavirus concerns.
This week, measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 have had a big impact on businesses and organizations. On Sunday, the city announced that most businesses would be required to close to the public. That mandate went into effect at 6 p.m. Monday evening and comes after Bangor declared a civil state of emergency last week.
According to the "Emergency Regulation: Prohibitions on Businesses", the following locations will be closed while the state of emergency is in effect:
- gathering places like auditoriums, stadiums, arenas, large conference rooms, meeting halls, theaters
- workout places like gymnasiums, fitness centers, yoga studios, indoor cycling studios
- recreational places like movie theaters, museums, dance clubs, music venues, adult entertainment facilities, casinos, private clubs
Bars, restaurants, and dine-in facilities also must remain closed to the public, but they can still offer curb-side pick-up to customers. This takeaway mandate also applies to schools and other locations that are providing free meals to students and the general public.
According to the new regulations, other businesses that sell or provide goods or services must be closed to the public. The city says it will make some exceptions, though, for a single employee "to perform necessary business functions that do not involve in-person contact with others". For example, in a Facebook comment responding to a concerned business owner, a city staff member wrote:
"Curbside pickup/delivery is fine for a retail shop if you feel you are providing essential goods/services, like food and cleaning/personal care products."
The city of Bangor has named 29 exemptions to this mandate that apply to businesses and organizations considered to be "essential". You can find that entire list here.
City councilors did not discuss an aforementioned shelter in place mandate at Monday's meeting. The town of Brunswick, however did decide to implement a shelter in place order, effective for seven days at this point.
To learn more about what "shelter in place" means, you can text the world "shelter" to 207-828-6622.