A Message From Governor Janet Mills
Time and again, Maine people have risen to the challenges put in front of us. We have survived blizzards, ice storms, depressions, booms and busts. We’ve suffered loss — as a state and as families. We have conquered them because we are a strong, resilient people – borne of the western foothills; the northern potato fields; the bold, rocky coasts; and the tall, pine forests. We have been lifted up by the courage, conviction and resilience that comes from loving a place and its people. Let us continue to prepare, take every precaution, remain both careful and compassionate. We will get through this.
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Keeping yourself and your loved ones healthy
Maine people can protect their health by taking the same preventive measures to avoid catching a cold: Wash your hands often for 20 seconds. Cover coughs and sneezes. Stay home if you are sick. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, shortness of breath, and lower respiratory distress. Individuals who exhibit those symptoms are advised to contact medical providers before going to a health care facility. Medical providers will make initial determinations about who should be tested.
For more information on the best ways to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy, visit the Maine CDC website.
For up-to-date information about the coronavirus in Maine, our prevention and response efforts, and specific guidance for schools, businesses, travelers, pregnant women and others, visit the Maine CDC.
For up-to-date information about the coronavirus in the United States, national prevention and response efforts, and specific guidance for people at a higher-risk for infection including seniors and people with underlying health conditions, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Maine CDC and 211 Maine have launched a new option for Mainers to get answers to questions about COVID-19 at any time. This service is available by dialing 211 or 1-866-811-5695, texting your ZIP code to 898-211, or emailing email@example.com.
Staying healthy at work as an employee
For answers to common questions about sick and family leave, Maine’s labor laws, and other work-related issues, visit the Maine Department of Labor’s Guidance on Coronavirus Response and Updates.
- Maine Department of Labor Bureau of Unemployment Compensation
- Connect Maine Provider COVID-19 Update and Resources
Maine State Employees seeking additional guidance should visit the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services Coronavirus Disease Guidance.
For more information about how coronavirus is affecting federal wage and family and medical leave laws visit the U.S. Department of Labor.
Protecting your business and ensuring your employees are safe
Governor Janet Mills has 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. The Governor has 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. For more information on these actions, please view this statement from the Governor.
Governor Mills has not taken these steps lightly. Maine’s small businesses and their workers are the backbone of our economy, and she understands that these actions will not only impact them, they will also disrupt the lives of Maine people. However, COVID-19 continues to spread across Maine and more aggressive action is required to mitigate that spread and to protect the health and welfare of Maine people. Her Administration is committed to working with businesses whose operations are affected by COVID-19.
To protect small businesses, Governor Mills requested, and the Small Business Administration (SBA) approved, economic support loans to Maine small businesses in order to help them overcome any temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19. To protect Maine workers, Governor Mills and the Legislature passed emergency legislation that revises eligibility for unemployment insurance to extend it to individuals whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19.
For more information on resources available to help your business recover from losses as well as best practices to protect the safety of your customers and the health of your employees, please visit:
- Resources for Maine Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic (PDF)
- Financial Resources in Response COVID-19-related closures and economic disruption (PDF)
- Maine Small Business Development Centers Videos to Help Small Businesses Apply for SBA’s Disaster Loans.
- Press Release March 19, 2020: The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) is partnering with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and local Maine lenders to offer special, limited time loans and loan insurance to eligible Maine businesses affected by COVID-19 (PDF).
- FAME COVID-19 Relief Loan Programs
- Information regarding L.D. 2167, An Act To Implement Provisions Necessary to the Health, Welfare and Safety of the Citizens of Maine in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.
- Business owners can apply for a Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Relief Loan Application. Business owners can also call the SBA disaster relief hotline at1-800-659-2955.
- Unemployment claims can be filed online. Claimants do not need to do anything special for claims related to COVID-19. If you have questions, you can visit the Maine.gov Unemployment page or submit questions to Maine Department of Labor staff.
- U.S. CDC’s Resources for Businesses and Employers.
- Small Business Administration’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Quick Take: Coronavirus' Economic Impact.