Over the last few weeks, we've heard a lot about people from states that are hard hit by the COVID-19 coronavirus coming to Maine (and other rural states) to avoid the spread of the virus.

Sadly, we've also heard of a few instances, the most-notable taking place on the island of Vinalhaven, where citizens have accosted people that were perceived as out of staters.

In the incident on Vinalhaven, a group of armed citizens attempted to force the "quarantine" of two men from New Jersey.  The reality was that those men were working on construction project and had been on the island for months.  They had not recently made the trip in order to escape the virus.

Not surprisingly, law enforcement is warning people about confronting people that are driving vehicles with non-Maine license plates.  Obviously, there is a concern that these confrontations could lead to violence.  On top of that, there's a good chance that you don't know the entire story.

For example, just because a person is driving a vehicle with a New York (or New Jersey, or Massachusetts, etc) license plate, it does not necessarily mean that person is from that state.  It is very possible that the vehicle could be a rental that is registered in that state.  Also, company vehicles (wrapped or not) could be registered in another state.

Please use common sense, be kind, and be safe.

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