Follow this timeline to see the actions taken by the Mills administration in response to COVID-19. Actions will be updated regularly.
December 2019-March 2
The Maine CDC monitors an outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 in Wuhan, China and dedicates 30 staff members to focus on preparing for cases in Maine. Staff begin to update safety protocols and upgrade the state lab so that testing for COVID-19 could be performed in Maine. Maine CDC continues working closely with hospitals, medical providers, EMS, and other partners to prepare for and respond to COVID-19.
Governor Mills convened a Coronavirus Response Team headed by Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah and consisting of commissioners of the Departments of Health and Human Services; Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management; Public Safety; Education; Corrections; Labor; Transportation; and Administrative and Financial Affairs.
Maine records its first positive presumptive case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Governor Mills 1) proclaimed an insurance emergency to improve access to care and require private health insurance plans to cover costs related to coronavirus testing; 2) suspended all non-essential out-of-state work travel by State employees; and 3) recommended, on the advice of Maine CDC, that non-essential large, indoor gatherings of 250 attendees or more be postponed in order to delay a potential coronavirus outbreak and substantially reduce its spread.
Governor Mills: 1) requested that the Small Business Administration (SBA) provide economic support loans to Maine small businesses in order to help them overcome any temporary loss of revenue (request approved March 16, Maine was one of the first states nationwide to receive approval) 2) submitted emergency legislation that temporarily revises eligibility for unemployment insurance to cover individuals whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19 and waive the one week waiting period.
Governor Mills declared a Civil State of Emergency, recommended 1) ending classroom instruction in all public schools as soon as reasonably practical; 2) postponing all non-urgent medical procedures, elective surgeries, and appointments at hospitals and health care providers across the state until further notice; 3) restricting visitors and all non-essential health care personnel to long-term care facilities except for certain compassionate care situations such as end of life until further notice; 4) postponing all events with 50 or more people all gatherings of more than 10 that include individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness, such as seniors, until further notice.
Governor Mills called for the statewide cancellation of Saint Patrick’s events to prevent the gathering of large crowds and further encouraged social distancing measures.
Governor Mills reached a bipartisan agreement with legislative leaders on a revised supplemental budget proposal that protects the health and well-being of Maine people.
Governor Mills issued a Declaration of Abnormal Market Disruption. The declaration, drafted in close consultation with Attorney General Aaron M. Frey, prohibits certain necessities from being sold at unconscionable prices.
Governor Mills announced a package of emergency measures to respond to COVID-19 which were approved unanimously by the Legislature and signed by the Governor. The measures grant Governor Mills access to at least $11 million in State funding to respond to COVID-19, expand authorities of State and local officials to allow them greater flexibility to respond to the virus, and provide support to Maine workers impacted by the virus.
Governor Mills issued an Executive Order mandating that all restaurants and bars statewide close to dine-in customers effective March 18, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. for a period of 14 days until midnight, March 31, 2020. Take-out, delivery, and drive-through options can continue. In her order, the Governor also prohibited all gatherings of more than 10 people until further notice, mandating the latest U.S. CDC’s guidance on gatherings. In addition, Governor Mills strongly urged non-essential public-facing businesses, such as gyms, hair salons, theatres, casinos, shopping malls, to close their doors for the next two weeks to minimize public gatherings.
Governor Mills pressed the Federal government to provide more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and testing supplies to the State of Maine. In a letter to Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, Governor Mills requested that the Federal government expedite the release of PPE from the Strategic National Stockpile and pushed for “a steady and reliable supply” of testing materials as the outbreak intensifies.
Governor Mills convened a conference call with Maine’s Federal Delegation to discuss the State’s response to COVID-19 and the Congressional Delegation’s work in Congress to support the State’s efforts.
Governor Mills signed an Executive Order (pdf) directing all Maine schools to continue paying non-salaried employees such as education technicians, food service employees, custodians and other hourly-paid school employees for the duration of the school year.
Governor Mills suspended the inland waters fishing license requirement and opened waters to inland fishing until April 30 to encourage Maine people to enjoy the outdoors as we confront the challenges associated with COVID-19.
Governor Mills urged President Trump to marshal the resources of the federal government to support Maine’s vital fishing and seafood industries.
Governor Mills issued an Executive Order (pdf) suspending provisions of certain health care professional licensing statutes and rules to facilitate the treatment and containment of COVID-19. The order authorizes, among other measures, physicians, physician assistants and nurses who are licensed in good standing in another state to be issued an emergency Maine license valid during the state of emergency.
Governor Mills issued an Executive Order (pdf) extending compliance dates and authorizing the waiver of fees under certain motor vehicle laws until 30 days after the end of the emergency.
Governor Mills ordered all non-essential businesses and operations in Maine to close their physical locations that are public facing, meaning those that allow customer, vendor or other in-person contact. Governor Mills also strongly urged all large, essential, public-facing businesses to immediately employ strategies to reduce congestion in their stores, including limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time and enhancing curbside pick-up and delivery services.
The Mills Administration through Maine Emergency Management Agency signed agreements with the University of Maine System and the Maine Community College System to coordinate requests for assistance and the deployment of resources to assist in Maine’s response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Governor Mills signed an Executive Order (pdf) to bolster the health care work force and facilitate the expansion of telehealth by allowing licensed physicians, physician assistants, and nurses greater flexibility to contribute to Maine’s response during the civil state of emergency. To implement the Governor’s initiative, Superintendent of Insurance Eric Cioppa also signed an order (pdf) that requires insurance companies to provide coverage for clinically-appropriate services delivered by telephone, as well as via more commonly used apps, such as FaceTime, WhatsApp and Skype, as long as they are private.
The Department of Health and Human Services begins providing additional payments through MaineCare to support nursing facilities efforts related to infection control and visitor screening to protect workers and the residents in their care.
Governor Mills and Commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services Commissioner Kirsten Figueroa extended the deadline for Maine income tax payments from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.
The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL) closed the following coastal state parks until April 8: Reid State Park, Popham Beach State Park, Fort Popham, Fort Baldwin, Kettle Cove State Park, Two Lights State Park, Crescent Beach State Park, Scarborough Beach State Park, Ferry Beach State Park, and Mackworth Island.
In response to the extraordinary generosity of Maine people, businesses, and organizations looking to help during these challenging times, Governor Mills launched a new online resource, coronavirus.maine.gov/mainehelps, to outline ways in which Maine people can support efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Mills directed Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner Judy Camuso to allow boaters to operate without a current 2020 registration and milfoil sticker until April 30, 2020. Boat registrations normally expire at the end of each calendar year.
Governor Mills signed an Executive Order allowing Maine Quality Centers (MQC) to swiftly address the changing demands in Maine’s job market due to widespread economic disruption caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Governor Mills and Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Jeanne Lambrew announced that the Administration is accelerating pay increases for personal care workers and expanding access to meals for older Mainers who are home-bound because of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Governor Mills issued a series of substantial new mandates to protect public health and safety in the face of COVID-19, including a Stay Healthy at Home directive that requires people living in Maine to stay at home at all times unless for an essential job or an essential personal reason, such as obtaining food, medicine, health care, or other necessary purposes.
Governor Mills submitted a request through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (PDF) (FEMA) for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration in light of the significant impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on the State of Maine. If Governor Mills’ request for assistance is approved, Maine people may have access to additional resources that support child care, behavioral health, and legal services, among others, needed in response to the pandemic.
Governor Mills issued an Executive Order extending the State’s property tax exemption deadline.
Governor Mills issued an Executive Order mandating that travelers arriving in Maine, regardless of their state of residency, self-quarantine for 14 days to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, the Order instructs visitors not to travel to Maine if they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 and advises them not to travel to Maine if they are traveling from cities or regions identified as COVID-19 hot spots. To deter travel, the Order also suspends lodging operations, including hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, inns, and short-term rentals such as those available through VRBO Airbnb, RV parks and campgrounds, and all public and private camping facilities as well as online reservations effective April 5, 2020 at 12:00 p.m.
Governor Mills announced that the President has approved her request for a major disaster declaration for the State of Maine, unlocking critical federal assistance for state agencies and municipalities in Maine.
Governor Mills signed an Executive Order to take additional steps to bolster the health care workforce, expand telehealth services, and temporarily alleviate certain licensing requirements, building upon the Governor’s March 20 Executive Order.
Governor Mills directed the Maine National Guard and the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to work with Maine’s health care systems to open two alternative care sites in Portland and Bangor as part of the State’s preparations to bolster Maine health system capacity in the face of COVID-19.
The Maine Department of Education delivered 500 wifi enabled Samsung Tab A's with a 12 month Verizon service to Piscataquis county schools, in an effort that is helping students in the area with their school work while they are engaged in remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To reduce in-person contact and promote physical distancing in response to COVID-19, Governor Mills signed an Executive Order allowing remote notarization.
Governor Mills signed an Executive Order moving Maine’s primary election from Tuesday, June 9, 2020 to Tuesday, July 14, 2020. The Order, which is effective immediately, also allows applications for absentee ballots to be made in writing or in person, without specifying a reason, up to and including the day of the election. It also extends the deadline for qualifying contributions under the Maine Clean Election Act to May 19, 2020.
Governor Mills directed Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew to take a series of actions to ensure that Maine people affected by Substance Use Disorder can access critical treatment and resources in the face of COVID-19, including facilitating access to medication and counseling, promoting harm reduction strategies, and accelerating financial relief for providers.
Governor Mills joined a coalition of Governors from Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin in writing to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma to ask the Administration to reconsider its decision and take swift action to allow for a special enrollment period of at least 30 days on the federal health care exchange.
The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development launched a program to identify startups and early-stage technology companies with products to aid the COVID-19 response (pdf).
Governor Mills urged U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to coordinate a nationwide strategy to increase the amount of food available to emergency food programs and to address gaps in the food supply chain.
Governor Mills signed a proclamation extending Maine’s state of civil emergency for another thirty days through May 15, 2020.
The Maine Department of Labor announced that Mainers receiving unemployment benefits will begin to see the additional weekly $600, created by the federal CARES Act, by early next week, and that the unemployment phone line will now be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The amount paid in UI benefits to Maine people since March 16 is over $46 million.
As the State continues to respond to COVID-19, Governor Mills signed a proclamation extending Maine’s state of civil emergency for another thirty days through May 15, 2020. The original state of civil emergency was scheduled to expire tomorrow, April 15, 2020.
Governor Mills signed an Executive Order (PDF) to limit evictions during the COVID-19 state of emergency, strengthen penalties for landlords who try to evict tenants by unlawful means, and extend timeframes for eviction proceedings if courts reopen before the state of emergency ends.
Additionally, the Governor and MaineHousing announced a $5 million COVID-19 Rent Relief Program for households that meet certain income requirements and the Governor urged all financial institutions to help Maine homeowners and small businesses experiencing financial hardship from COVID-19 to stay in their homes and storefronts.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services launched the FrontLine Warmline to serve health care professionals, as well as emergency medical services personnel, law enforcement, and others who are directly responding to the pandemic in Maine. The phone line is staffed by volunteer professionals activated through Maine Responds, including licensed psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, social workers, and nurse practitioners, who can help callers to deal with anxiety, irritability stress, poor sleep, grief or worry and, if needed, connect them with additional supports. The FrontLine WarmLine is available to clinicians and first responders from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week by calling (207) 221-8196 or 866-367-4440.
In order to provide more opportunity for both youth and adult turkey hunters and abide by current executive orders, Commissioner Judy Camuso with the support of Governor Janet Mills, opened the turkey season early, providing hunters with additional days to hunt this spring season, and suspended the requirement to register your harvested turkey.
Governor Janet Mills and Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew announced that nearly $11 million in federal funds will support access to child care for Maine’s essential workers, including health care professionals and first responders, and offer relief for child care providers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Janet Mills outlined her vision for a gradual and safe reopening of Maine’s economy amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, emphasizing four principles that will guide the State’s decision-making process and inviting Maine people to offer their ideas through a new portal launched by the Department of Economic and Community Development.
Governor Janet Mills announced that the Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission (CEFC) and the Revenue Forecasting Committee (RFC) will convene off cycle to examine the economic ramifications of COVID-19 on State government’s revenues.
Governor Janet Mills presented her Administration’s plan to gradually and safely restart Maine’s economy. The plan, which comes as the State appears to be successfully flattening the curve, establishes four gradual stages of reopening, the first of which begins May 1st. The Governor also announced she will extend the State’s stay-at-home order in the form of a new “Stay Safer at Home” Executive Order.
Governor Janet Mills issues new Stay Safer at Home Executive Order. The new order continues to have Maine people stay at home with the same established exceptions for permitted activities, such as occasional grocery shopping or exercising. However, it now also allows Maine people to visit businesses or participate in activities deemed safe to open under Stage 1 of the reopening plan presented on April 28. These include barber shops and hair salons, auto dealerships and drive-in stay-in-your-vehicle religious services that follow COVID-19 Prevention Checklists. The Order is effective immediately and extends through May 31, 2020, subject to change.
Governor Janet Mills signed an Executive Order convening an Economic Recovery Committee charged with developing recommendations to mitigate the damage to Maine’s economy caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to jumpstart a long-term economic recovery for Maine people, businesses, and organizations. The thirty-seven member Committee includes representatives of small businesses, non-profits, financial institutions, unions, municipalities, tribal and immigrant communities, hospitality and tourism industries, and educational institutions as well as a bipartisan delegation of legislative designees.
Governor Janet Mills announces her Administration has partnered with Maine-based IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. to purchase enough of the company’s recently authorized COVID-19 testing kits to more than triple the State’s testing capacity. The breakthrough will soon allow anyone in Maine suspected of having COVID-19 to receive a test.
Governor Janet Mills announced a rural reopening plan aimed at reopening certain additional businesses in rural Maine with added health and safety measures in the next two weeks. Under the plan, retail stores and restaurants will be permitted to open to in-store and some dine-in service, respectively – with enhanced safety precautions – in counties where community transmission is not present. Those counties are Aroostook, Piscataquis, Washington, Hancock, Somerset, Franklin, Oxford, Kennebec, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, and Sagadahoc.
The Mills Administration launched a statewide campaign to promote awareness of affordable health insurance options, particularly for people whose employment or income has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Janet Mills signed a proclamation extending Maine’s state of civil emergency for thirty days through June 11, 2020.
The Mills Administration announced that, effective immediately, Maine lodging providers can begin accepting future reservations for stays with an arrival date of June 1st and beyond for Maine residents and for non-residents who comply with the State’s 14-day quarantine requirement.
Governor Janet Mills and Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin announced that the Maine Department of Education has secured internet access and devices to facilitate at home learning for 100 percent of Maine school children for whom there was a reported need.
To further protect the health and safety of essential employees in Maine, including members of the media, the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is providing 1900 cloth face coverings to the Maine Association of Broadcasters (MAB) for distribution to the state's broadcast media outlets.
The Mills Administration announced the following updates to its plan to restart Maine’s economy: 1) Maine residents may enjoy private campgrounds beginning Memorial Day weekend; and 2) the Administration is delaying the full reopening of gyms, fitness centers, and nail salons in light of emerging research and experiences in other states of COVID-19 transmission related to these establishments.
Governor Janet Mills announced that the State of Maine has now received $52.7 million in Federal grant funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC) to bolster epidemiological and laboratory capacity to respond to infectious diseases, particularly COVID-19.
Governor Janet Mills announced that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is significantly expanding contact tracing by increasing the number of skilled staff and volunteers, harnessing innovative technology, and securing social services to help people with COVID-19 maintain self-isolation.
The Mills Administration announced that it is postponing the full reopening of restaurants for dine-in services in York, Cumberland, and Androscoggin counties. Restaurants in these counties were tentatively scheduled to reopen to dine-in services on June 1 (Stage 2) but are now restricted to reopening to outside dining service only beginning on that date in addition to continuing to provide take-away and delivery services.
Governor Janet Mills signed an Executive Order that allows for the gradual easing of restrictions implemented under previous Executive Orders as the state continues to reopen under the Restarting Maine’s Economy plan. As of today, Maine has reopened its economy on par with or to a greater extent than most other New England states.
Governor Janet Mills directed the Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC) to offer to purchase perishable and non-perishable food from restaurants in York, Cumberland and Androscoggin counties that are unable to open to indoor dining as a result of measures to protect public health and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Governor Janet Mills and MaineHousing announced an extension of the COVID-19 Rent Relief Program.
The Mills Administration announced additional business reopenings under the Governor’s rural reopening plan. Under the update, in 13 counties, tasting rooms and bars may open for outside service and gyms and fitness centers, nail salons, and tattoo and piercing parlors may open with added health and safety precautions beginning on Friday, June 12th. These establishments may reopen everywhere in all counties except for York, Cumberland, and Androscoggin Counties.
The Mills Administration announced that it will quadruple COVID-19 testing capacity at the State lab, develop testing sites throughout Maine, and allow more people in Maine with elevated risk of exposure to get tested for the virus.
The Mills Administration unveiled an alternative to the State’s 14-day quarantine requirement for people entering Maine. The multilayered plan, called Keep Maine Healthy, aims to protect the health of Maine people and visitors while allowing the opportunity for people to visit Maine and support Maine small businesses during the summer months.
As the State continues to respond to COVID-19, Governor Janet Mills extended the State of Civil Emergency for thirty days through July 10, 2020.
The Mills Administration announced that it has accelerated the first day that lodging establishments in Maine can begin serving out-of-state visitors who meet either the 14-day quarantine requirement or the State’s new testing alternative.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced that 525 essential workers have received financial help for child care and more than 1,600 child care providers have received stipends as part of the award of nearly $11 million in federal CARES Act funding to Maine. Additional grants will be awarded to child care providers through mid-July.
The Mills Administration announced that indoor dining in Androscoggin, Cumberland, and York counties can voluntarily resume on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 with added health and safety protocols outlined in the COVID-19 Prevention Checklist.
The Mills Administration released detailed guidance for Maine local governing bodies to hold gatherings, such as annual town meetings, school budget meetings, and elections, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Mills called for the USDA to designate maple syrup as an eligible Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) specialty crop.
The Mills Administration announced that it is postponing the reopening of indoor service at bars to protect public health given the higher risk of COVID-19 transmission in such settings.
The Mills Administration announced that it is dedicating $35 million of Maine’s $1.25 billion in Coronavirus Relief Funding (CRF) provided through the CARES Act to help local and tribal governments and other qualified entities cover costs incurred as a result of COVID-19.
Governor Janet Mills announced that her Administration has approved almost $9 million in grant awards to nearly 100 municipalities across the state under the Keep Maine Healthy Plan to support local COVID-19 public health, education, and prevention efforts.
The Mills Administration announced that it is exempting visitors from the States of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey from the 14-day quarantine requirement or negative COVID-19 testing alternative, effective Friday, July 3, 2020.
Governor Janet Mills issued an Executive Order requiring large retail businesses, restaurants, outdoor bars, tasting rooms, and lodging establishments in Maine’s more populous cities and coastal counties to enforce the State’s face covering requirement. Governor Mills also extended the State of Civil Emergency for thirty days through August 6, 2020.
The Mills Administration announced that seven health care organizations will collectively launch nearly 20 “swab and send” COVID-19 test collection sites that will send samples to the Maine State Lab for testing, strengthening access to safe and accessible testing for residents, tourists, seasonal workers, and other visitors to Maine.
Governor Janet Mills announced that her Economic Recovery Committeehas delivered to her its immediate recommendations to stabilize and support Maine’s economy through the unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Mills Administration announced that it will invest more than $8 million from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund to further boost access to child care and support Maine’s working families in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Janet Mills announced a series of steps her Administration is taking to assist and support school systems across Maine as they consider whether and how to return to in-classroom instruction this fall.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced four additional COVID-19 “swab and send” testing sites, the award of $1 million in federal funding to rural hospitals to increase their labs’ capacity to process COVID-19 tests, and a second round of grants to municipalities under the Keep Maine Healthy Plan to support local COVID-19 public health, education, and prevention efforts.
The Mills Administration announced an investment of $1 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to significantly and quickly expand services to help reduce the disproportionately large racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 in Maine.
Governor Janet Mills announced that MaineHousing will double its rental assistance from $500 to $1,000 through the COVID-19 Rental Relief Program beginning next Monday, August 3rd. The Governor also signed an Executive Order continuing expanded timeframe protections for renters in the evictions process.
Governor Mills today extended the State of Civil Emergency (PDF) for thirty days through September 3, 2020.
The Mills Administration announced that it has approved an additional $4 million in awards to more than 80 municipalities and Tribal governments across the state under a second round of Keep Maine Healthy funding to support local COVID-19 public health, education, and prevention efforts.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and MaineHealth announced the launch of five new "swab and send" COVID-19 testing sites, further expanding access to reliable and timely testing for Maine people and visitors.
Governor Janet Mills today announced the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program to support Maine businesses and nonprofits as they continue to grapple with economic hardships caused by COVID-19. The program, backed by $200 million in Federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF), will provide financial relief for businesses and non-profit organizations that incurred business disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Janet Mills announced she has signed an Executive Order to protect the health and safety of Maine voters, poll workers, and election officials and to facilitate access to safe in-person and absentee voting in the November general election amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Mills extended the State of Civil Emergency for thirty days through October 1, 2020.
Governor Janet Mills signed a curtailment order to maintain budget stability amid a projected revenue shortfall caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Executive Order, which adopts recommendations from the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, curtails allotments to the State’s General Fund by $221,775,584 and to the Highway Fund by $23,000,822.
Governor Janet Mills launched a second phase of the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program beginning Wednesday, September 23, 2020. Phase 2 will make available approximately $95 million in remaining funds from Phase 1 and expand access to the program by increasing the number of eligible businesses and non-profits.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) broadened its Standing Order (PDF) to include all individuals who think they need a COVID-19 test. This means that participating sites may test anyone in Maine over the age of 12 months who feels they need a test, even if they don't have a primary care provider or a written order from a clinician.
Governor Janet Mills dedicated an additional $164 million in CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) to support school systems as they continue to implement health and safety protocols to protect students, staff, and their families amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Mills Administration announced that, effective immediately, travelers from Massachusetts are exempt from the requirement to get a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine for 14 days.
Governor Mills extended the State of Civil Emergency for thirty days through October 29, 2020.
The Mills Administration announced that Maine will move into Stage 4 of the Plan to Restart Maine’s Economy beginning Tuesday, October 13, 2020. 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. Today’s Executive 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. The Order also expands the scope of the enforcement statewide, rather than in just Maine’s coastal counties and more populous cities.
Governor Janet Mills and Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Heather Johnson announced that the Mills Administration has begun distributing the first round of financial awards to Maine small businesses and non-profits through the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program. The 2,329 awards, which include 2,072 to small businesses and 257 to non-profits, total $105 million dollars and average just over $45,000 per award with recipients spanning the entire state.
To combat the disturbing rise in fatal drug overdoses exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Janet Mills announced a new “OPTIONS” (Overdose Prevention Through Intensive Outreach, Naloxone and Safety) initiative. Under the initiative, mobile response teams in every Maine county will engage with communities that have high rates of drug overdoses to promote drug prevention and harm reduction strategies, connect people directly to recovery services and treatment, and distribute naloxone.
Governor Janet Mills extended the State of Civil Emergency for thirty days through November 27, 2020.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced its strategy to distribute an allocation of rapid COVID-19 antigen tests to ensure access for all Maine residents, especially those at greater risk of exposure to the virus. DHHS is partnering with Walgreens to distribute the bulk of the tests, approximately 300,000, to 65 pharmacy locations from Kittery to Madawaska. This testing will be available to the public at no charge as a drive-through service in November.
As the COVID-19 virus explodes across the country, the Mills Administration announced actions to prevent and mitigate the spread of the virus, taking into consideration the need to keep businesses open and the need to keep schools accessible to students. The Administration will extend 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.
On the day Maine recorded 183 new cases of COVID-19, the highest single-day increase since the beginning of the pandemic, Governor Janet Mills announced an Executive Order requiring Maine people to wear face coverings in public settings, regardless of the ability to maintain physical distance.
In response to recent coronavirus outbreaks associated with the conduct of interstate youth hockey activities, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Maine Governor Janet Mills, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, Vermont Governor Phil Scott, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced they will support a regional approach to interstate competitions.
The Mills Administration announced that, effective Monday, November 16, 2020,Massachusetts is no longer exempt from Maine’s quarantine or negative test requirement.
Beginning, 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 52 Walgreens pharmacies will begin offering free drive-through rapid COVID-19 antigen testing Friday to people in Maine experiencing symptoms of the virus. Three more Walgreens sites in southern Maine will begin offering antigen testing next week, bringing the total to 65 Walgreens sites throughout the state.
Governor Janet Mills announced that her Administration has awarded $5.6 million in CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) monies to fund the construction of permanent internet infrastructure that will bring high-speed broadband to more than 730 students across rural Maine.
Governor Janet Mills and Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development Heather Johnson announced 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. The 1,222 awards, which include 1,107 to businesses and 115 to non-profits, total $53.6 million dollars and average just over $43,000 per award with recipients spanning the entire state. In addition, the Maine Economic Recovery Grant provided $7.4 million in grants to 193 businesses and non-profits that are less than a year old.
To support Maine families struggling economically because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Governor Janet Mills announced she is dedicating an additional $6.2 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to Maine Housing’s COVID-19 Rental Relief Program. MaineHousing will extend the program through December for renters who cannot afford to pay their rent due to COVID-19.
Governor Janet Mills extended the State of Civil Emergency through December 23, 2020.
The Mills Administration announced that it will dedicate more than half a million dollars in Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) to extend home-delivered meals to older Mainers and caregivers, ensuring food and nutrition for Maine people staying home during the pandemic.
Governor Janet Mills announced an economic recovery grant program to support Maine’stourism, 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.
Governor Janet Mills and Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew announced a grant program to support health care organizations that serve residents with MaineCare and sustain vital health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Mills Administration announced it will extend the requirement for certain businesses statewide to close by 9:00 p.m. through Sunday, January 3, 2021.
Governor Janet Mills and Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) Commissioner Amanda Beal announced that the Administration is committing $2 million in federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funding (CRF) to DACF’s Food Security Network Reimbursement Program.
Governor Janet Mills and Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Heather Johnson announced that the Administration is committing $10 million in federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funding (CRF) to a newly-created Agriculture and Food Processing Infrastructure Reimbursement Program.
The Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR), with support from Governor Janet Mills, launched a branding and promotion initiative to celebrate Maine Seafood and to help consumers find and enjoy it in the comfort and safety of their home. With $1,000,000 of the $20 million CARES Act relief funds allocated by NOAA for Maine’s commercial fishing and seafood industry, the Maine Seafood branding and promotion initiative will help this growing population of home-bound seafood enthusiasts discover the superior taste, quality and variety of seafood from Maine.
Governor Janet Mills and Commissioner of Labor Laura Fortman announced 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).
Governor Janet Mills and Commissioner for the Department of Administrative and Financial Services Kirsten Figueroa announced that the Administration has committed all of Maine’s $1.25 billion in CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF).
With widespread community transmission and increased COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Maine, Governor Janet Mills today 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.
Governor Janet Mills extended the State of Civil Emergency through January 20, 2021.
Amid an increase in Maine’s COVID-19 positivity rate and a continued high rate of hospitalizations, the Mills Administration 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.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Maine Governor Janet Mills, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, Vermont Governor Phil Scott, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced an extension of the suspension of interstate youth hockey competitions for public and private schools and youth hockey leagues through at least January 31, 2021.
Governor Mills presented a Balanced Budget to strengthen COVID-19 response, cover projected revenue shortfalls & increase Rainy Day Fund to record high savings.
Governor Mills announced updates to Maine’s strategy for distributing its limited allocation of COVID-19 vaccinestargeted toward preventing serious illness and saving the lives of Maine people. The Governor, in consultation with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC), is dedicating the limited vaccine supply to older Maine residents, beginning with those 70 and older; additional emergency service personnel such as police and firefighters; and people who support infrastructure critical to Maine’s COVID-19 response. The updated strategy also focuses on adults of all ages with high-risk medical conditions that place them at greater risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19.
Governor Janet Mills received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Governor Janet Mills extended the State of Civil Emergency (PDF) through February 17, 2021.
Governor Janet Mills announced that she will end the 9:00 p.m. early closing time for businesses, effective Monday, February 1, 2021. The decision is the result of Maine’s improving public health metrics, including a decrease in Maine’s positivity rate and new COVID-19 cases per million.