BATH — All Bath municipal buildings and facilities are closed to the public until April 27 to stem the spread of coronavirus.

City Hall and the landfill will remain closed and the Bath CityBus will continue to be out of service until April 27. Essential services, including curbside trash collection and fire and police services, remain available.

“(City facilities) are all exposure points, and my job is to minimize exposure to employees and the public,” said Peter Owen, Bath’s city manager. “This is a difficult and extreme situation, so we need to make decisions not everyone is going to agree with.”

Owen said he took Bath residents who rely on the bus into account when making his decision but said the risk to city employees and the public was too great not to suspend service.

“We’re looking at lives,” said Owen. “Any place where you’re bringing people in close proximity is a danger. Our ultimate goal is keeping people apart.”

The announcement came days before Gov. Janet Mills announced Tuesday new statewide restrictions prohibiting travel outside of the home for all but essential activities, such as grocery shopping.

COVID-19, the disease that causes coronavirus, is a highly contagious respiratory illness that causes fever, coughing and difficulty breathing. Health experts believe coronavirus is spread through person-to-person contact and urge people to stay home as much as possible and maintain a 6-foot buffer between others.

On Tuesday Maine health officials confirmed the number of positive coronavirus cases rose to 303, including five deaths in total. Sagadahoc County has seen seven confirmed cases.

Mari Eosco, Bath city council chairwoman, said suspending bus service was a difficult decision that will inconvenience those who rely on the bus, but it ultimately aids the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation of staying home as much as possible to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

According to a 2017 Bath transit study, the Bath CityBus sees 14,000 and 14,450 passengers annually.

“We were concerned about every service that was going to be shut down, but we have to consider what the bigger impact could be,” said Eosco. “It may keep people from going places, which is what people should be doing anyway.”

Beginning Thursday, Mainers are prohibited from leaving their homes for all but essential activities, like grocery shopping, medical care, or commuting to essential jobs.

The city’s April council and planning board meetings will be held remotely and can be watched on Bath Community Television, Channel 14, and online at cityofbath.com/bctv-on-demand.

The Bath Parks and Recreation Department is postponing all programs, events and meetings until at least April 27. The Bath Youth Meetinghouse and Skatepark is also closed until April 27, but all city parks are open, with the exception of the South End dog park.

Owen said the city received no guidance from state or federal governments on how a municipality should protect its residents.

“There’s no guidebook and no directive because each community is a little different,” said Owen. “Public safety is our motive, and if we feel that public safety is threatened, we’re going to err on the side of caution.”

The city’s tentative re-opening date of April 27 is in line with Regional School Unit 1, which announced earlier this month all schools in the district will remain closed until April 26.

Patrick Manuel, superintendent of RSU 1, said the decision to close schools was made “In an effort to mitigate and slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our students, staff, and families safe…”

While school isn’t in session, the district, which serves students from Bath, Woolwich, Arrowsic and Phippsburg, continues to provide “Grab and Go” breakfast and lunch bags for children at Dike Newell, Fisher Mitchell, Phippsburg and Woolwich on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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