Gov. Janet Mills announced an executive order Thursday mandating face masks in public, regardless of physical distance from other people, as new Maine COVID-19 cases set yet another daily record.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 183 new cases of COVID-19, a record high number of daily cases for the third day in a row. There were 151 new cases Wednesday and 127 new cases Tuesday.

The seven-day daily average of new cases increased to 118.7, compared to 67 a week ago and 33.4 a month ago. On Thursday, 38 people were in the hospital, including 17 in intensive care. That’s up from an average of 8-10 hospitalizations and one or two people in intensive care two weeks ago.

Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine CDC director, will not address the media today, but is expected to hold a media briefing on Friday.

“COVID-19 remains serious and grows more serious with each passing day,” Shah said on Wednesday.

Mills’ new executive order Thursday strengthens her existing order on face covering and is similar to what Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker ordered earlier this week. Face coverings in Maine are now required in all public places — pretty much anywhere people might interact with other people — no matter whether distancing is possible.

“Additionally, owners and operators of all indoor public settings in Maine must now post plainly visible signs notifying entrants of the requirement to wear cloth face coverings, and may deny service or entry for non-compliance,” the governor’s office said in a press release. Previously, only certain types of businesses like large retail businesses were responsible for implementing measures requiring customers to comply.

“Wearing face coverings and staying at least six feet away from others when out in public are ways that every person in Maine can limit potential spread of the virus to help make their communities and homes safer,” Shah said in the press release.

The Maine CDC also is hiring more contact tracers and case investigators to keep up with the increasing volume, with 20 to soon be redeployed – some starting as soon as Monday – and at least an additional dozen in the coming weeks.

“We are continuing to turn up that dial,” Shah said.

One of the state’s major outbreaks is at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, where 104 cases were reported on Wednesday, 95 among inmates and nine staff members.

Since the pandemic began, 7,260 Maine people have fallen ill with COVID-19, and 150 have died.

New outbreaks were reported Wednesday at Hope Baptist Church in Manchester, with five cases; six cases among staff at Calais Regional Hospital; three at CrossFit gym in Augusta and three at Advanced Health physical therapy in Augusta.