State of Maine Follows Updated U.S. CDC Recommendations For Face Coverings In Indoor Public Settings Governor Mills continues to urge Maine people to get vaccinated as the best way to protect your health Augusta,\u00a0ME\u00a0(STL.News) The Mills Administration announced today that the State of Maine will follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention\u2019s (U.S. CDC) updated face covering guidance, which recommends that: \tall people, regardless of vaccination status, wear face coverings in indoor, public settings in areas with \u201csubstantial\u201d or \u201chigh\u201d levels of community transmission; and \tall teachers, staff, and students in K-12 schools wear face coverings, regardless of vaccination status or community transmission level. According to the U.S. CDC, York and Piscataquis counties have \u201csubstantial\u201d levels of community transmission at this time, which means that individuals should wear face coverings in indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status.\u00a0 Maine\u2019s other 14 counties currently have \u201cmoderate\u201d levels of community transmission according to the U.S. CDC and are thus not subject to the first recommendation.\u00a0 The U.S. CDC determines level of community transmission based on the number of cases in the last 7 days per 100,000 people and the percentage of tests in the last 7 days that have a positive result. Consistent with Maine\u2019s recent approach to COVID-19-related policy and the expiration of the State of Civil Emergency, these changes are recommendations, not requirements. The Governor and Maine health officials continue to strongly urge Maine people to get vaccinated as the best way to protect themselves from COVID-19. \u201cAs a result of their willingness to roll up their sleeves, 72 percent of eligible Maine people have been fully vaccinated \u2013 one of the best rates in the country.\u00a0 This has helped us keep our rates of COVID low compared to the rest of the nation, but the Delta variant remains a threat that we want to keep at bay as much as possible,\u201dsaid Governor Janet Mills.\u00a0 \u201cThe most effective way to do that is to get vaccinated.\u00a0 We continue to strongly urge all people to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities by getting your shot.\u00a0 In the meantime, we recommend that Maine people follow the U.S. CDC\u2019s updated public health recommendations.\u201d \u201cVaccination is our best shot to slow the spread of COVID-19, including variants that continue to cause serious illness and death,\u201d said Jeanne Lambrew, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, and Nirav D. Shah, Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.\u00a0 \u201cWe continue to strongly urge all Maine people to get their shot to protect themselves and keep people safe.\u00a0 As the U.S. CDC has noted, vaccination is our best route out of this pandemic and this new guidance serves as a reminder that we must continue to take the threat of this virus seriously.\u201d \u201cThe pandemic continues to create dynamic challenges for school communities across the nation, and we are extremely proud of the leadership and professionalism exhibited by Maine's administrators, school boards, and staff members as they work to keep their schools safe and open,\u201d said Pender Makin, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Education.\u00a0 \u201cMaine\u2019s Department of Education remains committed to providing support and guidance as we navigate this continually evolving situation.\u201d COVID-19 vaccine remains widely available across the state.\u00a0 To find a vaccination location, go to www.maine.gov\/covid19\/vaccines\/vaccination-sites or call the Community Vaccination Line at 1-888-445-4111. Maine continues to demonstrate nation-leading progress in administering vaccinations and containing the spread of COVID-19.\u00a0 More than 63 percent of Maine\u2019s total population is fully vaccinated and 68 percent has received at least one dose, according to the U.S. CDC vaccination tracker.\u00a0 77 percent of eligible Maine people (12 years and older) have received at least one dose and nearly 72 percent of eligible Maine people are fully vaccinated. Despite having the oldest median age population in the country, Maine, adjusted for population, ranks fourth lowest among states in both COVID-19 cases and deaths from COVID-19, according to the U.S. CDC.