The City of Lewiston is closing and barricading Kennedy Park’s basketball courts and skateboard park to prevent large gatherings. The goal is to encourage social distancing and slow the spread of the new coronavirus. Governor Mills has banned non-essential gatherings of more than 10 people, which means people cannot congregate outdoors – or in homes, because the recommended distance of at least six feet between individuals is impossible to maintain in groups indoors. Families are encouraged to send only one person out on errands, and not take their children with them, thereby reducing chances of family infection. Signs have been posted in Portland and South Portland to discourage people from going into the parks. Humans have no immunity to the Covid-19 virus, which has sickened people in 190 countries, areas or regions worldwide, and caused at least 14,652 deaths. Maine had 107 cases as of March 23 , an increase of 18 in one 24-hour period. Social distancing is believed to be the most effective means to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

“Live your life as if Covid-19 is already in your community,” said Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Center for Disease Control in Maine on March 23. ““How you live your life today could effect the lives of others in your community tomorrow. Introduce as much distance as possible.”