As the large outbreak in Millinocket spreads to smaller outbreaks, Governor Mills warns of the dangers of giving in to pandemic fatigue.

It's something most people are starting to feel. Mainers are getting tired of isolating themselves from loved ones, feeling frustrated that the summer is ending without the usual activities, and wanting to gather with friends and family. But Governor Janet Mills and Dr. Nirav Shah are cautioning about the dangers of letting our guard down.

Earlier this month, a wedding in Millinocket resulted in over 50 cases of COVID-19, statewide. Dr. Shah says the ripples from that event have been far-reaching:

  • A woman who did not attend the wedding, but came into contact with someone who did, has died of COVID-19.
  • Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center in Madison now has 6 cases of the virus. An attendee of the wedding infected their parents with the virus, who then infected another child, who is an employee of the rehab center.
  • York County Jail has 18 cases, traced to an employee who attended the wedding.

Governor Mills says people are feeling complacent because Maine's 7-day positivity rate is .75%, while the national average is 7%. But the virus is still active in Maine, and letting our guard down could mean a surge in cases. Attending or organizing an event that exceeds the recommended capacities, or not practicing recommended protocols could mean that you become infected by someone at the party that doesn't know they have the virus. You could then stop in to visit your parents, go to the grocery store, and return to work...possibly infecting people at all of those locations.

Her advice is to recognize that being safe is as important today as it was 5 1/2 months ago, when this journey began.

  • Wear your face covering.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer when washing isn't convenient.
  • Stay home when you're feeling ill.

In addition, Governor Mills reminded parents of the importance of keeping children up-to-date on their immunizations, to avoid healthcare facilities becoming overwhelmed by outbreaks. Clinics have been set up, around the state, where children can receive their immunizations, at no cost to the parents.