Lewiston joined its twin city, Auburn, in ending the state of emergency surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, effective immediately, on Thursday.

Lewiston Mayor Mark A. Cayer and City Administrator Denis D’Auteuil noted the city’s following of CDC guidelines, social distancing, mask wearing and vaccinations as reasons why the state of emergency has been lifted. Auburn lifted its state of emergency seven weeks ago.

Thankfully, here in Lewiston and throughout the state & nation, we have turned a corner with significant reductions in COVID cases and hospitalizations, and Lewiston is experiencing rejuvenation as it heads towards more normalcy,” Cayer said in a city news release. 

Cayer encouraged the city of Lewiston to continue the progress it started via increased vaccination rates. 

“We urge residents to take advantage of the various local, accessible vaccination sites, and unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to discuss vaccination with their primary care doctor, friends, and family members,” Cayer said. “COVID is still a very dangerous virus that has affected many community members, and we have lost many of our neighbors to this deadly virus.”

The state of emergency went into effect in Lewiston on March 17, 2020. The public health action was taken under the authority of the City Charter, 37-B M.R.S.A. §§ 703 and 783, and section 30-29 of the Code of Ordinances, which was deemed in effect until rescinded by the Mayor and City Administrator.

Cayer thanked the City Administrator, Deputy City Administrator, department directors as well as employees and first responders in the city news release. 

“As we faced daily uncertainties, we are very proud that Lewiston employees collaboratively and effectively found ways to safely provide needed services to keep our city moving forward,” he said.

As for the residents of Lewiston, they shouldn’t see much change in their day-to-day lives according to deputy city administrator Dale Doughty.

“I don’t think there’s any direct impact,” Doughty said. “It gave the city administration and others some authority to do things that would normally be done through council during COVID, but we are really in a place that that need to be able to react to things very quickly is not the case. Things are stabilized and we still have work to do but it’s not changing like it was over the last year and a half. Things were evolving quickly… And reacting quickly isn’t part of it really anymore. Residents aren’t going to see anything different.”

“It was around how the city operates and the city is pretty much back to normal like many things in society,” Doughty added. “We aren’t reacting to segregating people as much and things people had to do to get services. “

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