The Maine CDC reports 220 new cases of COVID-19 statewide and 5 more people who have recovered. University of Maine administrators announced this week that while it will encourage students and staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine, it will not be a requirement.

Governor Janet Mills has closed all state offices today, due to the inclement weather. Many businesses, schools, and services are also closed today and the Maine Emergency Management Agency is urging people to stay off the roads, if at all possible. .

Residents are encouraged to be prepared for possible power outages today, including charging all electronics, before the power goes out. Generators should be kept in wide open areas, and vented away from any buildings. Versant reminds Mainers not to touch any downed lines or trees that are touching lines, but leave that to the professional crews.

The ferry known as the CAT will not be running between Nova Scotia and Maine in 2021. Bay Ferries made the announcement this week, stating that service will resume once the current health crisis allows the land borders to reopen.

University of Maine officials have several events planned, to mark Black History Month, starting with displaying the Black Lives Matter flag in the lobby of the Memorial Union all month. Other events include a triathlon for social change and a Racial Justice Challenge through the Fogler Library. Find a full list of events on the University of Maine website.

Students at All Saints Catholic School are doing their part to help area residents in need. They’re bringing donations of socks and canned goods to the school for a project called Souper Socks. The donations will be given to the Bangor Ecumenical Food cupboard and the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter, as part of Maine Catholic School week.

The Maine Department of Education is kicking off the 6th annual Read to Me challenge of Maine students. The event is being held virtually this year, with students encouraged to share video recordings of themselves reading their favorite book, in order to promote a love of reading.

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