Maine - COVID-19 Covered

Maine

Total Cases: 36,274 (January 22)
Tests Administered: 1,298,390 (January 20)
Fatalities: 540 (January 22)
Testing:
  • The Maine Department of Health and Human Services announced four additional COVID-19 “swab and testing” sites. (July 21) 

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • Governor Mills signed an executive order requiring all non-essential businesses to close physical locations until April 8. Under the executive order, essential businesses include those identified by the US Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response. (March 24)
    • The order also added several other activities that Maine considers “essential,” including fishing and aquaculture, essential home repair, grocery, and household goods, and childcare providers. (March 24)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Maine released official reopening guidance for businesses based on sector. Details for each sector can be found here.

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Mills and Commissioner for the Department of Administrative & Financial Services Kirsten Figueroa announced the Administration had committed all of Maine’s $1.25 billion in CARES Act funding, with the final $6.8 million allocated the public-private partnership with Westbrook-based IDEXX Laboratories for COVID-19 testing. (December 11) 
  • Governor Mills and Commissioner of Economic & Community Development Heather Johnson announced the Administration would commit $10 million in federal CARES Act funding to a newly-created Agriculture & Food Processing Infrastructure Reimbursement Program. (December 4) 
  • Governor Mills and Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry Commissioner Amanda Beal announced the Administration would commit $2 million in federal CARES Act funding to the Food Security Network Reimbursement Program. (December 4) 
  • The Mills administration announced it would dedicate more than half a million dollars in COVID-19 relief funds to extend home-delivered meals to older residents and caregivers, ensuring food and nutrition for Maine people staying home during the pandemic. (November 25) 
  • Governor Mills announced a $40 million economic recovery grant program to support Maine’s tourism, hospitality, and retail small businesses. (November 30) 
  • Governor Mills announced her administration had begun distributing the second round of financial awards to small businesses and non-profits through the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program. (November 20) 
  • Governor Mills announced her administration had awarded $5.6 million in CARES Act funding to aid the construction of permanent internet infrastructure that would bring high-speed broadband to more than 730 students across rural Maine. (November 20) 
  • Governor Mills announced she would dedicate an additional $6.2 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to Maine Housing’s COVID-19 Rental Relief Program. Maine Housing would extend the program through December for renters who could not afford to pay their rent because of the pandemic. (November 20) 
  • Governor Mills and Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren announced the Boston Fed and the State of Maine would collaborate to launch the Working Communities Challenge in Maine. The initiative aimed to strengthen Maine’s rural towns and smaller cities and is backed in part by $2.7 million in donations. (October 21) 
  • Maine moved into Stage 4 of the Plan to Restart Maine’s Economy on October 13. This stage included guidance on winter capacity limits for businesses and strengthened measures on wearing cloth face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (October 6) 
  • Governor Mills announced her administration would dedicate an additional $25 million in CARES Act funding to Maine’s unemployment insurance trust fund. (October 2) 
  • The Maine Department of Health & Human Services announced it would invest nearly $1 million from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund to support infection prevention and control practices in congregate care settings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (October 1) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • The Maine Department of Health & Human Services awarded $5.1 million in grants to 53 health care organizations that serve residents with MaineCare to help sustain vital health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. (December 30) 
  • Governor Mills announced a $200 million economic recovery program for Maine’s small businesses. (August 20) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • The 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Governor Mills’ rule requiring out-of-state visitors to quarantine for two weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (January 20) 
  • Governor Mills extended the State of Civil Emergency through February 17. (January 20) 
  • The Mills administration announced it would extend the requirement for certain businesses to close by 9:00PM in order to limit activities that could contribute to the transmission of COVID-19. (December 30) 
  • The Maine Department of Health and Human Services announced that the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) has placed its second order for doses of COVID-19 vaccine for 37,850 people to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Operation Warp Speed. (December 11)  
  • Governor Mills signed an Executive Order that simplifies and strengthens the enforcement of the State’s face covering requirement. Moving forward, owners and operators of all indoor public spaces – regardless of the type of entity or size – must not allow those who refuse to wear a face covering to enter or remain in their venue. Previous Executive Orders had required enforcement in some but not all public settings. (December 11) 
  • The Mills Administration announced that Massachusetts is no longer exempt from Maine’s quarantine or negative test requirement effective Monday, November 16. People coming here from Massachusetts must either quarantine for 14 days, or receive a negative COVID-19 test with a sample taken no longer than 72 hours from arrival in Maine. This protocol applies to Maine residents returning from Massachusetts or another of the non-exempt states. (November 13) 
  • In response to recent coronavirus outbreaks associated with the conduct of interstate youth hockey activities, Governor Mills agreed to suspend interstate competitions for public and private schools and youth hockey effective this Saturday, November 14 December 31. The prohibition will not impact interstate collegiate, professional, or U.S. national team hockey activities, which will remain subject to existing health and safety protocols and/or restrictions. (November 12) 
  • On the day Maine recorded 183 new cases of COVID-19the highest single-day increase since the beginning of the pandemicGovernor Mills announced an executive order requiring Maine people to wear face coverings in public settings, regardless of the ability to maintain physical distance. The new order strengthens an earlier one stating that face coverings must be worn only when physical distancing is difficult to maintain. (November 6) 
  • The Mills Administration is extending the “Keep Maine Healthy” program through December to promote local prevention efforts. The Administration will also return to lower indoor gathering limits, postpone bar and tasting room reopenings for now, and remove New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut from exempt status under the State’s travel advisory. (November 1) 
  • The Mills Administration announced that Maine would move into Stage 4 of the Plan to Restart Maine’s Economy beginning October 13. Stage 4 increased limits on indoor seating to 50 percent capacity of permitted occupancy, or 100 people – whichever is less – and maintained the critical public health measures outlined in COVID-19 Prevention Checklists, such as enhanced cleaning practices and physical distancing. (October 6) 
    • The order also strengthened the State’s face covering mandate by requiring that a broader set of entities, such as private schools and municipal buildings, ensure that employees and people in their buildings adhere to this critical health measure. Additionally, it expanded the scope of the enforcement statewide, rather than in just Maine’s coastal counties and more populous cities. (October 6) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Maine’s Department of Education released an initial framework for schools reopening in the fall, the details of which can be found here. 
  • Governor Janet Mills, along with the governors of New JerseyRhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusettsannounced an extension of the suspension of interstate youth hockey competitions for public and private schools and youth hockey leagues through at least January 31. (December 30) 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Maine universities and colleges that planned to reopen in the fall can be found here. 
  • A coalition of Maine colleges and universities released framework to guide Maine’s 38 colleges and universities as they start to make individual decisions about how and when to re-open in the Fall, the details of which can be found here. 
  • The University of Maine System announced it would partner with Shield T3 for universal COVID-19 testing this coming semester. UMS will use a test-trace-isolate strategy for the spring semester, meaning everyone going to school or working in the UMaine System for in-person learning will be tested once a week. (January 15)

Giving Opportunities

April 20, 2020

Requesting medical supplies, including masks, hospital gowns, and coverings for workers.

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com