By Dana F. Connors
As cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) begin to reach U.S. soil, and particularly the New England region, I cannot stress enough that Maine’s response to the coronavirus must be grounded in facts, not driven by fear. Regardless of size or sector, concerns about the coronavirus and actions that businesses should, or should not, take will greatly mitigate the impact of the virus on public health and the economy.
On March 2, Governor Janet Mills convened a Coronavirus Response Team to build on Maine CDC’s work in coordinating coronavirus preparation and response to protect public health. The team is charged with coordinating state government’s response across departments, local agencies, and health authorities to combat the potential spread of novel coronavirus.
While concerns are certainly understandable, Maine’s response must be grounded in facts – preparation, not panic. Now is the time to listen to experts, to stay informed, and to take reasonable measures to prepare. Try not to panic. We need to be prudent and be prepared, without overreacting. While monitoring the situation, Mainers should feel confident as they go about their daily lives, head to work, conduct meetings, or drop their children off at school.
Working together with government and experts, the Maine State Chamber plans to help instill confidence and calm—and we encourage all our members to join us in that pursuit. To develop your own response, we encourage our members to visit the Maine CDC’s coronavirus website at www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/airborne/coronavirus.shtml, as well as the U.S. Chamber’s coronavirus business resource page at uschamber.com/coronavirus.