AUGUSTA, Maine — Fifteen months after it was enacted due to the coronavirus pandemic, the state of civil emergency will end on June 30, Gov. Janet Mills announced Friday.
Mills said in a release that the decision was prompted by the state's progress vaccinating people and reducing the spread of COVID-19.
The current state of civil emergency, set to expire Sunday, will be extended to June 30 "to ensure an orderly transition out of the emergency, allowing state government departments to continue necessary pandemic-related services," Mills' administration said in a release.
“Today, we take another important step forward in our return to normal,” Mills said in the release. “After fifteen long, difficult months, ending the State of Civil Emergency is a welcome milestone that reflects the progress Maine has made in getting people vaccinated, reducing the spread of the virus, and getting back to normal. Maine people have persevered, and, although challenges remain, we will get through them together just as we did this past year. I congratulate and thank Maine people for all they have done to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their fellow citizens.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Maine is third in the nation, behind Vermont and Massachusetts, in vaccinating the most people age 12 and older.
Maine, adjusted for population, also ranks 4th lowest in the total number of cases and 4th lowest in number of deaths from COVID-19, according to the U.S. CDC.
The state's final face-covering requirement, for child care settings and indoor, pre K-12 schools, will also end June 30, although school districts and child care settings may still require face coverings.
The Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will continue to recommend that those not vaccinated against COVID-19 continue to wear face coverings indoors.
The state of civil emergency allowed Mills to implement public health measures to respond to the pandemic.