Most recent COVID-19 updates specific for State employees

When on-site, please continue to follow work rules (updated April 29, 2022), including wearing a mask, watching your distance, and washing those hands. We have made a number of upgrades to State facility ventilation to further protect our teams from COVID-19.

Get vaccinated and boosted

Wear a mask

Stay home when sick and test for COVID-19

Report positive cases to HR

Isolate or quarantine per U.S. CDC

Re-entry and other resources

To reduce your own chance of severe disease and to protect those around you, please strongly consider getting vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.

Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant,” according to the U.S. CDC.

Even if fully vaccinated and boosted, the U.S. CDC says breakthrough infections “are expected.” Don’t be discouraged by this. “Vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death” and boosters are 90 percent effective in preventing hospitalization from Omicron, according to the U.S. CDC.

COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are free.

The Office of Employee Health and Wellness and WellStarME have partnered with Osco Pharmacy to host COVID-19 vaccination and booster clinics at select Shaw's locations.

You can also visit the State’s vaccination website or call the Community Vaccination Line at 1-888-445-4111.

Use COVIDcare paid leave as available to get a vaccine or a booster, or when recovering from the side effects of a dose. On your timesheet, please select “COVIDCARE ADMIN” and comment with “approved by HR.”

Return to top of page

To reduce your own chance of severe disease and to protect those around you, the U.S. CDC continues to strongly urge all people to wear a mask in indoor public settings in areas of high transmission (currently all Maine counties), regardless of vaccination status. Additionally, work rules require all those not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to wear a mask at all times when indoors at work.

Review the U.S. CDC’s advice about masks and determine what type of mask is right for you depending on your circumstances.

Request any PPE, such as masks, from your supervisor. Though exceptions do apply, generally State employees are not required to wear specific PPE and are not required to utilize State-issued PPE. Supervisors should order PPE as employees request and quantities allow - here is guidance for placing these ordersNote: Since quantities of N95s are limited, please order only for employees who request them and please order no more than five N95s per requesting employee. (Healthcare and Corrections workers should continue to access PPE through already existing channels.)

For employees choosing N95s (non-healthcare and non-corrections): It is important to ensure a proper fit; this video and factsheet demonstrate how to determine if the N95 fits properly and how to properly put on and take off. Please review this information about N95s which certain employers must provide for employees using respirators (N95s) when not required by the OSHA standard. Additional Information on N95s is available from the U.S. CDC.

Return to top of page

If or when reporting to work on-site, work rules require that you NOT come to work if feeling unwell – regardless of whether it could be COVID-19. For calendar year 2022, most State employees have been fronted sick leave for just these type of occurrences.

To prevent spread to others, the U.S. CDC recommends testing for COVID-19 if you are feeling unwell or have been a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

There are a number of testing sites in Maine, and over-the-counter self-tests can be used at home or anywhere.

The Federal government recently launched CovidTests.gov, and every home in the U.S. is eligible to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests.

Members of the State Employee Health Plan through Anthem can get reimbursed for the costs of over-the-counter diagnostic COVID-19 tests, so long as the tests are used when experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Please retain your receipt and test kit, and submit via this form for reimbursement.

State employees participating in the State’s Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA) may also purchase tests and certain other COVID-19 related items with those funds. For more information, contact the HCFSA plan administrator: www.padmin.com or 1-800-688-2611 (Monday to Friday 8:30am to 10:00pm).

Governor Mills and The Rockefeller Foundation launched a pilot project to mail 125,000 free COVID-19 tests to Maine households – check to see if your zip code is eligible and place an order through the Project ACT website.

Return to top of page

Work rules require that you alert your HR Director should you test positive for COVID-19 via a home or other diagnostic test.

Per guidance from the CDC, it is the responsibility of the infected individual to notify close contacts, if any, as soon as possible. This includes any workplace close contacts or other close contacts. This is consistent with the fact that contact tracers, no matter how diligent, are not often able to execute communications ahead of Omicron’s more abbreviated and earlier window of transmission. There is an online tool that allows individuals to notify contacts anonymously through text or email.

HR will continue to ensure that any affected facilities are cleaned per U.S. CDC guidance.

HR case managers will review positive cases alongside other cases to determine if appropriate to deploy more stringent masking expectations or other safety measures to improve safety; follow this guidance if issued.

HR will post weekly case rates for State employees to access if desired.

Return to top of page

Please familiarize yourself with what to do if you are infected with COVID-19 or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

Per the U.S. CDC, a positive test result means that you have an infection and should isolate and inform your close contacts to avoid spreading disease to others.

A close contact is someone who has been within six feet of an infected individual for a cumulative period of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period, within the last 14 days. A close contact who is BOTH fully vaccinated AND ALSO boosted must monitor for symptoms, test, and more stringently mask. A close contact who is NOT boosted (including vaccinated but not boosted) must quarantine for five days, monitor for symptoms, test, and more stringently mask.

For calendar year 2022, most State employees have been fronted sick leave for just these type of occurrences. Additionally, if you or a loved one needs to quarantine or isolate as a result of COVID-19, we are once again offering eligible State employees 80 hours of COVIDcare paid leave in calendar year 2022. On your timesheet, please select “COVIDCARE ADMIN” and comment with “approved by HR.”

Return to top of page

Re-entry date

We have already extended the timeline for returning to on-site work, from October 12, 2021, to a later date. As we continue to fight COVID-19, we have not yet determined the “later date.” Many State employees have been working on-site all along – thank you! Supervisors have and will continue to flex team members’ location(s) based on operational need – but a universal re-entry date is not on the immediate horizon. As a benchmark, the suggestion to Commissioners and Directors is a notice of at least two months, if possible and as operationally feasible, prior to deploying any wholesale return-to-work efforts. We remain committed to a gradual and safe re-entry process.

Current case status

On-site cases of COVID-19 have been reported to the following Departments for the week indicated below, and cleaning has been conducted as required by U.S. CDC guidelines. This listing does not include cases in locations where confidentiality would not be preserved. Updated for the week of June 21, 2022.

Department 6.21.22
Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry 1
Administrative & Financial Services 1
Corrections 0
Defense, Veterans & Emergency Management 1
Economic & Community Development 0
Education 0
Environmental Protection 0
Health & Human Services 24
Inland Fisheries & Wildlife 0
Labor 2
Marine Resources 0
Professional & Financial Regulation 4
Public Safety 4
Transportation 9
Secretary of State 1
Treasurer of the State 0
Attorney General 0
State Auditor 0
Public Utilities Commission 0
Baxter State Park 0
Workers' Compensation Board 0

Resources 

Employee wellness resources:

Teleworking resources

Return to top of page