Maine - COVID-19 Covered

Maine

Total Cases: 6,199 (October 25)
Fatalities: 146 (October 25)
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 Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren today announced the Boston Fed and the State of Maine will collaborate to launch the Working Communities Challenge in Maine. The initiative aims to strengthen Maine’s rural towns and smaller cities and is backed in part by $2.7 million in donations. (October 21) 
  • Governor Mills announced that Maine has begun distributing the first round of financial awards to small businesses and non-profits through the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program. Grant letters notifying the recipients of their award were sent in collaboration with Maine’s seven Economic Development Districts, which will distribute funds by early November. The program, backed by $200 million in Federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF), provides some financial relief for businesses and non-profit organizations that incurred business disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. (October 15) 
  • Maine will move into Stage 4 of the Plan to Restart Maine’s Economy beginning October 13. Stage 4 includes 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 that her Administration has dedicated an additional $25 million in CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds to Maine’s unemployment insurance trust fund. (October 2) 
  • The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced today that it will 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) 
  • Governor Mills announced today that a second phase of the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program will launch on Wednesday, September 23. (September 21) 
  • Governor Mills signed a curtailment order to maintain budget stability amid a projected revenue shortfall caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. (September 17) 
  • The Mills administration approved an additional $4 million in COVID-19 prevention and protection awards. (August 11) 
  • Maine farmers were awarded aid totaling $16 billion under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program created through the CARES Act. (August 11) 
  • The Mills Administration announced that $1 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund will be allocated towards expanding services to reduce racial and ethnic disparities during the COVID-19 pandemic. (July 30) 
  • Governor Mills announced rent assistance will double from $500 to $1,000 through the COVID-19 Rental Relief Program. (July 30) 
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation has granted an extra 13 weeks of unemployment benefits to those who have finished their normal weekly payments. (July 1) 
  • Governor Mills announced an extension to the states COVID-19 Rent Relief Program, which would assist renters for the months of April, May, and June. (June 4) 
  • Governor Mills signed an executive order forming an Economic Recovery Committee responsible for making “recommendations to mitigate the damage to Maine’s economy” as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (May 6) 
  • The Maine Department of Labor announced the formation of the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, which provides unemployment eligibility to workers not typically covered by unemployment insurance, including self-employed individuals. (April 30) 
  • Governor Mills signed an executive order adjusting certain time frames and deadline requirements of Maine’s Loan Guarantee Program, which is intended to assist Maine residents “who have experienced a reduction in income” due to COVID-19. (April 21) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Mills announced a $200 million economic recovery program for Maine’s small businesses. (August 20) 
  • The City of Portland and the Greater Portland Council of Governments announced the launch of three new emergency business loan grant programs for companies impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. (May 5)  
  • Governor Mills encouraged small businesses to apply for assistance through the Federal Paycheck Protection Program, which can provide loans for payroll, rent, and other operational expenses. (April 6) 
  • Governor Mills announced the creation of a new online resource, that offers residents and businesses ways they can address “immediate needs”: financial support, health care and medical assistance, small business aid, and “connections with family, friends, and neighbors.” (March 27) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • The Mills Administration announced that Maine will move into Stage 4 of the Plan to Restart Maine’s Economy beginning October 13. Stage 4 increases limits on indoor seating to 50 percent capacity of permitted occupancy, or 100 people – whichever is less – and maintains the critical public health measures outlined in COVID-19 Prevention Checklists, such as enhanced cleaning practices and physical distancing. The order also further strengthens 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 expands the scope of the enforcement statewide, rather than in just Maine’s coastal counties and more populous cities. (October 6) 
  • Governor Mills announced that Massachusetts residents are no longer required to test negative for coronavirus or quarantine when they travel to the state. (September 23) 
  • The Maine Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance today to nursing facilities to assist them in meeting new federal requirements for routine COVID-19 testing, which is supported by the federal government’s release of more than $10 million in funding and its distribution of point-of-care testing devices to Maine’s nursing facilities. DHHS also announced that it is helping nursing facilities address staffing challenges by launching a new online tool to connect them with qualified job applicants. (September 1) 
  • Governor Mills announced she has signed an Executive Order to protect the health and safety of Maine voters, poll workers, and election officials. The order will also help facilitate access to safe in-person and absentee voting in the November general election amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (August 27) 
  • Governor Mills announced an adjustment to group limitations for outdoor activities, limiting large gatherings to 100 people. (July 29) 
  • Governor Mills issued an executive order strengthening enforcement of a face covering requirement in large retail businesses, restaurants, outdoor bars, tasting rooms, and lodging establishments in Maine’s more populous cities and coastal counties. (July 8) 
  • The Mills Administration announced that visitors from Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey are exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement or negative COVID-19 testing alternative. (July 1) 
  • Governor Mills announced Maine will postpone the reopening of indoor service at bars from its original date of July 1. (June 22) 
  • Governor Mills announced that indoor dining may resume in all Maine counties beginning June 17 in conjunction with strict health and safety protocols. (June 15) 
  • Governor Mills accelerated the start day that lodging establishments can begin serving out-of-state visitors to June 26. Visitors must meet either the state’s 14-day quarantine requirement or the new testing alternative. (June 12 
  • Governor Mills announced the Keep Maine Healthy Plan, an alternative to the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers entering the state. Among other measures, the plan requires visitors to certify they have recently received a negative COVID-19 test. (June 9) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • The Mills administration announced new public health guidance for schools as students prepare to return to class in the fall, including symptom screenings, physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and practicing proper hand hygiene. (July 17) 
  • Maine Catholic schools announced they will hold in-person classes in the fall. (June 23) 
  • Maine’s Department of Education released an initial framework for schools reopening in the Fall. Details can be found here. (June 14)   

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Maine universities and colleges planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 
  • The University of Maine System announced travel restrictions to limit COVID-19 exposure to faculty and students. (August 14) 
  • Several community colleges in the state have announced a hybrid class set-up for the upcoming fall semester. (July 9) 
  • University of Maine students will return to campuses across the state for the fall semester. (July 1) 
  • 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. Details can be found here. (June 4 

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