Coronavirus News

December 30, 2020

Mills Administration Continues Early Business Closing Time Amid Increase in COVID-19 Positivity Rate and Hospitalizations

Amid an increase in Maine’s COVID-19 positivity rate and a continued high rate of hospitalizations, the Mills Administration today announced that it will extend the requirement for certain businesses statewide to close by 9:00 p.m. in order to limit activities that could contribute to the transmission of COVID-19.

The early closure limits extended indoor gatherings among members of the public, which are activities that present a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission, and does so during later hours when people are more likely to lower their guard, jeopardizing adherence to critical public health and safety measures. However, the early closure requirement also limits business disruption by allowing these businesses to maintain daytime operations and to continue curbside pick-up and delivery service after 9:00 p.m. The requirement, which was scheduled to expire on Sunday, January 3, 2021, will continue until further notice. More...

December 23, 2020

Maine DEP delays enforcement of polystyrene foam and plastic bag bans

​A statewide ban on single-use plastic carry-out bags had been scheduled to go into effect January 15, 2021 and the polystyrene foam disposable food service container ban had been scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2021 however, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is delaying its enforcement of the laws that ban the use of these products until July 1, 2021. More...

December 11, 2020

Governor Mills Further Strengthens Enforcement of Face Covering Requirement

With widespread community transmission and increased COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Maine, Governor Janet Mills today signed an Executive Order (PDF) 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. More...

December 11, 2020

Mills Administration Announces One-Time Relief Payment for Mainers Unemployed Due to COVID-19

December 9, 2020 - Governor Janet Mills and Commissioner of Labor Laura Fortman announced today that the Administration will provide certain individuals who are unemployed due to COVID-19 with a one-time direct relief payment of $600 through the State’s newly-created Pandemic Relief Program (PRP). The relief payment is meant to assist unemployed Maine people at a time when they continue to face substantial economic hardship as a result of COVID-19 and are losing their Federal unemployment benefits at the end of the month unless Congress acts. This payment includes self-employed, sole proprietors, and other business owners who are unemployed and losing their Federal unemployment benefits this month. More...

November 30, 2020

Governor Mills Launches $40 Million Economic Recovery Grant Program to Support Maine Tourism, Hospitality & Retail Small Businesses

​Updated on December 1, 2020 - Governor Janet Mills announced Monday an economic recovery grant program to support Maine’s tourism, hospitality, and retail small businesses. Backed by $40 million in Federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF), the Tourism, Hospitality & Retail Recovery Grant Program is focused specifically on supporting Maine’s service sector small businesses, such as restaurants, bars, tasting rooms, lodging and retail shops, which have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and now face additional challenges with the coming winter months. More...

November 24, 2020

Attorney General and Maine DHHS issue face covering guidance and enforcement

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued guidance to businesses and other organizations which interact with the public detailing these enforcement options. The guidance clearly states that the Governors Executive Orders have the force of law and spells out face covering requirements for individuals and establishments, including which establishments must enforce wearing of face coverings, and the potential consequences for noncompliance. More...

November 20, 2020

Governor Mills Announces Second Round of Economic Recovery Grants to Maine Small Businesses & Non-Profit

​November 20, 2020 - Governor Janet Mills and Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development Heather Johnson announced today that the Mills Administration has begun distributing the second round of financial awards to Maine small businesses and non-profits through the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program. This second phase of the Economic Recovery Grant Program expanded access to funds by increasing the number of eligible organizations. Under Phase 2, businesses and non-profits that employ up to 250 people are eligible for grant awards. In addition, licensed childcare and behavioral health organizations were eligible in this round, along with businesses and non-profits in their first year of operation. More...

November 20, 2020

Mills Administration Announces Additional Walgreens COVID-19 Testing Locations, Including Rockland

​The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced today the additional Walgreens pharmacy locations that will offer free drive-through rapid COVID-19 antigen testing to people in Maine experiencing symptoms of the virus. The Walgreens location at 28 Park Street in Rockland is on the list of new locations offering this service. More...

November 19, 2020

Mills Administration Announces More Public Health and Safety Measures

Beginning tomorrow, Friday, November 20, 2020, through Sunday, December 6, 2020, all outdoor and indoor amusement venues, movie theaters, performing arts venues, casinos, and businesses that provide seated food and drink service, including social clubs, restaurants, and bars and tasting rooms currently open for outdoor service, will close for the night by 9:00 p.m. More...

November 13, 2020

Ahead of Holiday Season, Mills Administration Announces Massachusetts No Longer Exempt from Quarantine or Negative Test Requirement

November 13, 2020 -- The Mills Administration announced that, effective Monday, November 16, 2020, Massachusetts is no longer exempt from Maine’s quarantine or negative test requirement. 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. More...