The state of Maine now has 17 confirmed COVID-19 cases (at the time of posting) and state and city governments are responding as that number is only expected to grow in the coming days.

St. Patrick's Day is often a day where business is booming for Portland's Old Port with bars holding holiday specials and events. Over the weekend many St. Patrick's Day events, including the annual parade were canceled in light of COVID-19. This year, the Old Port will be silent.

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According to the Portland Press Herald, a mandatory shut-down has been issued for the hours of 6 a.m. on Tuesday (St. Patrick's Day) to 2 a.m. on Wednesday. Afterward, there will be a nightly curfew from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. through Saturday.

The shut down is specifically aimed at businesses where groups gather for entertainment such as restaurants, bars, and clubs. Other businesses where groups don't necessarily go to gather will remain open at their own discretion. The city is recommending that restaurants consider takeout or delivery options if able.

Any business that violates the new curfew could face fines.

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This means many of our friends and neighbors are looking at a huge hit for their income. Take this time to check on your favorite bartenders, waitstaff, and musicians. Buy gift certificates if able to support them during these uncertain times. If you've ever wanted to earn a new skill, see if your favorite local musician offers lessons of any kind that they may be able to teach online.

We will get through this by joining together and supporting one another.

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