AUGUSTA — Today, Gov. Janet T. Mills announced new COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, loosening social distancing measures and other restrictions in the wake of increased vaccinations and stabilizing COVID-19 case numbers. The new protocols will take effect on May 24.
In response, Senate President Troy Jackson and House Speaker Ryan Fecteau released the following statement:
“From day one of the COVID-19 pandemic, our number one goal has been to protect the health and safety of Maine people, and save lives. The plan was always to return to the State House when it was safe for everyone — the public, members of the press, legislative staff, and lawmakers. With today’s announcement, we are looking forward to working with our colleagues to review the new guidelines and finalize plans to eventually reopen the State House.
“Make no mistake — Mainers are the reason we’ve gotten to this point. They’ve followed social distancing guidelines, they’ve diligently worn their masks and they’ve continued to get vaccinated. Maine people have put in the work and they’re the reason we are on the edge of normalcy.
“Nothing about the legislative session this year has been ideal. Like so many Maine businesses, the Legislature has had to innovate to find new ways to work this year. Though it hasn’t been easy for everyone, the steps we’ve taken to reduce the spread of this virus have allowed vaccination rates to outpace the spread of the disease. Although we’re still working out the logistics for the remainder of the session, I know my colleagues and I are looking forward to returning to the State House in a way that is safe for everyone.”
The Maine Legislature is set to meet on Wednesday, May 19 at the Augusta Civic Center. Logistics on future session days will be announced at a later date.