Maine - COVID-19 Covered

Maine

Total Cases: 85,156 (September 23)
Tests Administered: 45,794 (March 6)
Fatalities: 1,007 (September 23)
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:

  • Maine will receive up to $100,000 in grant funding to improve employment outcomes in response to the economic impacts of COVID-19, connecting job seekers to training, education, job opportunities, and essential support services. The state will also get support developing an action plan to develop or scale innovations that increase employment and deliver stronger workforce outcomes. (March 10) 
  • The Mills administration will present to the Legislature a “Back to Work” bond proposal, including efforts to expand broadband, develop the workforce, support innovation in Heritage industries, and increase funding for childcare. (February 23) 
  • 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:

  • Governor Mills signed a measure which provides state income tax relief to all Maine businesses that received Paycheck Protection Program funds and exempts unemployment benefits from state income taxes for approximately 160,000 Mainers. (March 18) 
  • 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:

  • Maine announced that fully vaccinated individuals would no longer be required to wear face coverings indoors effective May 24. (May 14) 
  • Governor Mills lifted all capacity limits and requirements to physically distance in all public outdoor settings. Face coverings would still be required in public indoor settings. (May 13) 
  • All residents 12 years of age or older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. (May 11) 
  • All states will be exempt from Maine’s COVID-19 travel requirements effective May 1. (April 27) 
  • Governor Mills removed the requirement that people wear face coverings in outdoor settings. (April 27 
  • Maine will require individuals to quarantine for 10 days or receive a negative test result within three days after leaving the state. Only those traveling within New England and people who are fully vaccinated for over 14 days are exempt. (April 16) 
  • Maine deployed its mobile vaccination unit as part of an effort to vaccinate rural and remote corners of the state. The unit will provide at least 250 shots per day, according to the Mills administration. (April 12) 
  • All Maine residents aged 16 and older are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (April 7) 
  • Governor Mills announced that bars and tasting rooms could open indoor service at 50 percent capacity, and at 75 percent capacity on May 24. (March 26) 
  • Governor Mills announced Maine would accelerate its vaccine timeline. Residents 50 years of age and older would be eligible for vaccination on March 23. All residents 16 years of age and older would be eligible for vaccination on April 19. (March 19) 
  • Governor Mills announced adults age 50 and older would be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on April 1, and all adults would be eligible May 1. (March 12) 
  • The Maine Department of Health & Human Services partnered with ModivCare to announce a free ride option for people who need transportation to and from a COVID-19 vaccination appointment. (March 10) 
  • Governor Mills announced “Moving Maine Forward,” which revised the state’s travel policies established last summer under the Keep Maine Healthy Program and set a target reopening date for indoor service at bars of March 26. (March 5) 
  • Beginning March 3, Maine will expand eligibility for the vaccine to those 60 years of age and older. (February 26) 
  • Governor Mills issued an executive order that would allow houses of worship to accommodate five people per 1,000 square feet of space, or up to 50 people, whichever is greater. (February 12) 
  • Maine public health officials said they would remove COVID-19 vaccines from hospitals that violate state and federal guidelines. (February 9) 
  • The Maine CDC placed another order for first doses of COVID-19 vaccine, enough for 21,475 people, to the US CDC and Operation Warp Speed. (February 4) 
  • Governor Mills announced that Maine would end the 9:00PM early closing for businesses starting February 1. (January 28 
  • 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) 
  • Governor Mills said she would update Maine’s COVID-19 vaccination plan in the coming days in response to new federal guidelines advising states to prioritize vaccinations for those 65 and older and those with pre-existing conditions. (January 12) 
  • 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 Center for Disease Control & Prevention placed its second order for doses of COVID-19 vaccine for 37,850 people to the US Centers for Disease Control and Operation Warp Speed. (December 11) 
  • Governor Mills signed an executive order simplifying and strengthening 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. (December 11) 
  • The Mills administration announced it would extend the requirement for certain businesses statewide to close by 9:00PM through January 3. (December 4) 
  • Governor Mills announced an executive order requiring residents to wear face coverings in public settings, regardless of the ability to maintain physical distance. The new order strengthened an earlier one stating that face coverings must be worn only when physical distancing is difficult to maintain. (November 6) 
  • The Mills administration extended the Keep Maine Healthy program through December to promote local prevention efforts. The administration also returned to lower indoor gathering limits, postpone bar and tasting room reopenings. (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:

  • Governor Mills announced that all Maine schools are expected to offer full-time, in-person learning this fall. Additional guidance can be found here. 
  • Governor Mills announced the state’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics dedicated for school staff and teachers who are 60 years of age and older would open the week of March 8. (March 5) 
  • The Department of Health & Human Services and the Maine Department of Education announced they would prioritize 250,000 COVID-19 rapid tests for schools, along with health care and long-term care sites, to expand regular testing and support in-person learning. (February 16 
  • 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 [email protected]egies.com