SCARBOROUGH, Maine (AP) — Maine will remain under a state of emergency order until at least the middle of May, the state’s governor has ruled.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills extended the emergency order on Wednesday. She first instituted the order in March 2020, near the outset of the pandemic.

The order gives the state the ability to use all available resources to contain the spread of coronavirus.

“With nearly half of all eligible Maine people having received at least one dose of a vaccine, we are making progress, but we have got to keep our foot on the gas to get more people vaccinated, to keep people alive and healthy, and to get us back to normal sooner,” Mills said.

Many Republicans in the state have said the emergency order has been in effect for too long and gives Mills too much authority. She has said it’s an important piece of the response to the pandemic.

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Mills’ office also said numerous other states, including Georgia, South Carolina and Texas, have extended their own civil emergency orders this month.

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