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Maine Gov. Janet Mills quarantining after COVID-19 exposure

Mills said she feels fine, but she is following CDC guidelines. She is set to take a PCR test on Thursday, five days after her exposure.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Janet Mills is quarantining after exposure to COVID-19. Mills was believed to have been exposed by a member of her Executive Protection Unit. The EPU detail member developed symptoms on Monday, and was awaiting the result of a PCR [polymerise chan reaction] test, which is considered more reliable than the rapid test.

On Wednesday, Mills reported that the EPU detail member did in fact test positive.

Mills said she feels fine but is following guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

"I feel well and will continue to work on behalf of Maine people, but this is a reminder: no one is immune from exposure," Mills said. "We’ve got to take this virus seriously."

The EPU member was last with Mills on Saturday. "While their contact was limited – in a car together with face coverings for less than 10 minutes – the governor is quarantining in line with the recommendations of the Maine CDC," according to the release.

Mills will take a PCR test on Thursday, five days after her possible exposure. 

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said Wednesday that contact tracing is underway and that no additional members of Mills' security team are in quarantine.

The governor took part in the release of the 'Maine Climate Council Maine Won’t Wait' plan virtually from the Blaine House on Tuesday.

The release says Mills was last in the governor's office on Monday. The staff is following strict workplace CDC guidelines. 

The governor was scheduled to swear in the 130th Legislature on Wednesday, but will be replaced by Maine Supreme Judicial Court Acting Chief Justice Andrew Mead.

Mills acknowledged how difficult things are right now, but asked Mainers to stay vigilant. 

"I know people are tired, and I know it can be difficult to take the necessary precautions, but with the number of new cases and the number of people hospitalized, it is more important than ever before that we protect each other’s health and safety," said Mills. "Please wear your mask, watch your distance, and wash your hands – and, if you come into contact with someone who may have the virus, follow CDC guidelines and avoid contact with others for the required period.”

FULL GOVERNOR JANET MILLS PRESS RELEASE

Governor Mills Quarantining After Likely Exposure to COVID-19

Governor Mills: I feel well and will continue to work on behalf of Maine people, but this is a reminder: no one is immune from exposure. We’ve got to take this virus seriously.

Augusta, MAINE — Consistent with U.S. and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, Governor Janet Mills announced today that she is quarantining following an exposure to an individual believed likely to have COVID-19.

Beginning today, the Governor is quarantining at the Blaine House, the Governor’s residence. In line with current CDC guidelines, she will quarantine through December 12, 2020. The Governor feels well, is not symptomatic, and will continue to discharge her duties and remain in touch with her Cabinet and staff virtually.

“I am feeling fine and not experiencing any symptoms whatsoever; but as we have said all along, no one is immune from exposure to this virus,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I am going to continue working as hard as I can on behalf of Maine people during this quarantine; but putting a lid on this virus will also require hard work by every person all across the state. I know people are tired, and I know it can be difficult to take the necessary precautions, but with the number of new cases and the number of people hospitalized, it is more important than ever before that we protect each other’s health and safety. Please wear your mask, watch your distance, and wash your hands – and, if you come into contact with someone who may have the virus, follow CDC guidelines and avoid contact with others for the required period.”

Governor Mills also posted a video message to the people of Maine which can be viewed here.

The Governor is believed to have been exposed to COVID-19 by a member of her Executive Protection Unit (EPU). The EPU member developed COVID-like symptoms yesterday, Monday, November 30, 2020, and is awaiting the result of a PCR test. The EPU member is considered a probable case by the Maine CDC. The EPU member was last with Governor Mills on Saturday, November 28, 2020. While their contact was limited – in a car together with face coverings for less than 10 minutes – the Governor is quarantining in line with the recommendations of the Maine CDC. 

Members of the EPU are required to be with the Governor at all times and are required to follow strict public health and safety protocols that include wearing face coverings, physical distancing, and maintaining strict hygiene. In order to abide by privacy requirements, the Governor’s Office is not releasing further information about this case.

Governor Mills will take a PCR test on Thursday, December 3, 2020, which will mark five days since the likely exposure which is within the recommended time period for testing after potential exposure given the number of days it can take the virus to reproduce and be detected, if present. The Office of the Governor will announce those results when they are available.

Governor Mills was last in the Governor’s Office yesterday, Monday, November 30, 2020. The Governor, along with the Governor’s Office staff, adhere to strict public health and safety protocols, including wearing face coverings, physical distancing, and hygiene measures.

Earlier today, the Governor participated virtually in the release of the Maine Climate Council Maine Won’t Wait plan from the Blaine House. The Governor was scheduled to swear in the 130th Legislature tomorrow, December 2, 2020. In her absence, the Acting Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Andrew Mead, will swear in the new Legislature.