The Moving Maine Forward plan was unveiled today by Governor Janet Mills, the first woman Governor for the State of Maine. The plan is designed to protect public health and support Maine’s economy as the state approaches its busy and important tourist season.
Especially noteworthy is that effectively immediately, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island residents are exempt from test or quarantine requirements. These states have reduced their positivity and active core rates. The changes in policy also exempt those who have either recently had COVID-19 or been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, regardless of their state of origin, from the test or quarantine requirement.
At the afternoon press conference, the Governor said it will be good to see people using Maine’s wonderful beaches and parks once again. She did express concern as to the tourist economy because the Canadian border is currently closed. When that will change permitting many Canadian tourists to enter the state, is unclear. Canadians have always been an important contributor to the health of the tourist season in Maine. Furthermore, the Governor said that the uncertainty of the upcoming cruise ship season casts more questions on the success of the upcoming tourist season in Maine.
The Moving Maine Forward plan also says that for indoor gatherings, the percentage of capacity will increase 50% starting March 26 and 75% starting May 24th. For outdoor gatherings, the percentage of capacity will increase to 75% starting March 26 and 100% starting on May 24th. Those businesses that have more capacity under the current policy (50 people for indoor gatherings, 100 people for outdoor gatherings, or 5 people per 1,000 sq. ft. ) are permitted to maintain that standard until May 24th.
At his recent COVID-19 briefings, Dr. Nirav Shah, Director of the MaineCDC, has repeatedly emphasized the importance of getting a vaccination whenever the opportunity arrives. If a COVID-19 vaccination is offered to you, take it he urges. While some may question the efficacy of the new one shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Dr. Shah urged members of the public to get a shot if they are given the chance -whichever of the three vaccines may be available. It is known that J&J is extremely effective against the South Africa variant – one case has been identified in Cumberland County Dr. Shah said at his Thursday (yesterday) briefing.
So, the news that the Portland bishop Robert Deeley was urging his flock to reject the Johnson & Johnson vaccine came as a jolt to those who prefer science over religious dogma. The two are often at odds with each other, to the detriment of the flock. The bishop’s rationale for his unscientific view was the abortion-derived cell lines used to develop the vaccine. When Governor Mills was asked at the press conference this afternoon for a response, she said simply: No Comment
This blogger wishes to thank the National Guardsman who located my car in the massive parking lot following the press conference this afternoon Following the press conference, this blogger exited the building through a different door which led to the other side of the large building – confusing for this blogger unfamiliar with the site. I think his name was Matt!