Maine – Coronavirus State Actions

Governors are working closely with federal and local officials as well as private sector partners to address the threat of the novel coronavirus. This page lists select actions through 31 July 2020. It is not intended to be exhaustive but is meant to highlight key actions and resources that may inform other states and territories as they prepare for and respond to the novel coronavirus. All state actions can be viewed here, or visit Coronavirus: What You Need To Know for additional information and resources.


Maine Department of Health and Human Services coronavirus resource page.

  • March 2, 2020—Governor Janet Mills convened an Coronavirus Response Team charged with coordinating the state’s response across departments, local agencies and health authorities to the potential spread of novel coronavirus.
  • March 12, 2020—Governor Janet Mills recommended in a press conference that gatherings with more than 250 people be postponed. The Governor also announced that she is suspending all non-essential travel by state employees.
  • March 15, 2020—Governor Janet Mills signed a proclamation of civil emergency.
  • March 17, 2020 – The Governor’s emergency legislation were approved by the House and Senate. Key provisions include the following:
    • Access to at least $11 million in state funding to respond to COVID-19.
    • Establishing a consumer loan guarantee program through the Finance Authority of Maine, in partnership with financial institutions, to provide low- or no-interest loans for eligible people in Maine.
    • Temporarily expanding eligibility for unemployment benefits for workers impacted by COVID-19.
    • Increasing the Department of Education’s ability to waive certain school-day requirements and to continue school lunch programs for all eligible children.
    • Authorizing the Governor to adjust state, county and municipal government deadlines and to permit all public entities to meet by remote participation.
    • Expanding the ability of Maine Emergency Medical Services’ Board and staff to take actions more promptly.
    • Authorizing the Governor to prohibit utilities from terminating residential electric and water service.
    • Authorizing the Governor to determine and direct the manner of the June 2020 primary, if necessary.
  • March 18, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order that closed restaurant dining rooms, bars, and limited social gatherings to no greater than 10 people.
  • March 19, 2020 – The Governor signed the Maine Health Care Coverage Act to improve private health insurance in the state.
  • March 19, 2020 – The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) is partnering with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and local Maine lenders to offer special, limited time loans and loan insurance to eligible Maine businesses affected by COVID-19, including: loans up to $50,000 offered at reduced interest rates; interest-only payments; up to 75% pro-rata loan insurance on loans up to $100,000; interim financing in conjunction with the SBA wherein FAME makes loan proceeds available while approved SBA borrowers await federal funding. To allow access to those funds immediately, FAME will provide an interim loan to be paid-off with the SBA loan funds.
  • March 20, 2020 – The Governor ordered open all inland waters for fishing and waived the requirement that anglers need a recreational fishing license to fish the inland waters of Maine. The order is effective immediately and runs until April 30th.
  • March 21, 2020 – The Governor sent a letter to the president requesting that the Trump Administration consider direct financial assistance, subsidies, and operating loans or loan deferment, among other possible measures, to help the seafood industry.
  • March 24, 2020 – The Governor urged large essential businesses to limit in-store customers, enhance curbside pick-up and delivery services, and implement physical distancing measures to protect customer and employee health
  • March 24, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order that mandated all non-essential businesses and operations in Maine close their physical locations that are public facing.
  • March 25, 2020 –The Governor, through the Maine Emergency Management Agency, signed agreements with the University of Maine System and the Maine Community College System to coordinate requests for assistance and the deployment of resources.
  • March 25, 2020 – The Governor signed an insurance emergency response order allowing licensed physicians, physician assistants, and nurses greater flexibility to contribute to Maine’s response during the civil state of emergency. This includes:
    • Receive an emergency license to provide health care in person or through telehealth to Maine people, with no application fee
    • See Maine patients through telehealth without obtaining a Maine license, if already serving those patients at out-of-state locations
    • Have their licenses automatically renewed if up for renewal during the state of emergency
    • Suspend conforming to physician oversight requirements (for physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses)
    • Reactivate their license immediately with no application fee, if retired.
  • March 25, 2020 – The Governor took action to align Maine with federal guidance and improves the affordability of needed health care services delivered through telehealth.
  • March 26, 2020 – The Governor announced new measures to help the state’s nursing facilities address financial challenges. They include:
    • Providing additional payments through MaineCare to support nursing facilities’ efforts related to infection control and visitor screening to protect workers and the residents in their care.
    • Asking nursing homes to track and submit costs beyond their normal operating expenses.
  • March 26, 2020 – The Governor extended the state income tax payment deadline to July 15, 2020
  • March 26, 2020 – The Governor launched a new online resource in the state that outlines the ways the people of Maine can support relief efforts. It outlines 4 ways help can be provided:
    • Financial assistance
    • Healthcare and medical assistance
    • Small business assistance
    • Connections with family, friends, and neighbors
  • March 27, 2020 – The Governor encouraged citizens to safely support local businesses through efforts like PayitForwardMaine while being mindful of crucial physical distancing guidelines and using online transactions or pickup and delivery services.
  • March 27, 2020 – The Governor extended boating registration renewal period until April 30 due to COVID-19.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order to fast track free online job training at Maine’s community colleges
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor announced that her office is accelerating pay increases for personal care workers and expanding access to meals for older Mainers who are home-bound because of COVID-19.
  • March 31, 2020 – The Governor issued a stay-at-home order for the state that will continue to April 30th.
  • March 31 – The Governor signed an executive order to allow families who rely on TANF to request an emergency extension to continue receiving benefits beyond the 60-month lifetime limit. 
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor requested a major disaster declaration from the federal government.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor extended the state property tax deadline.
  • April 3, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order mandating that travelers arriving in Maine, regardless of their state of residency, self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • April 4, 2020 – The Governor announced that the President has approved her request for a major disaster declaration for the State of Maine.
  • April 7, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order to further expand access to health care by taking additional steps to bolster the health care workforce, expand telehealth services, and temporarily alleviate certain licensing requirements.
  • April 7, 2020 – The Governor directed the Maine National Guard and the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to work with Maine’s health care systems to open two alternative care sites in Portland and Bangor as part of the State’s preparations to bolster Maine health system capacity.
  • April 7, 2020- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Maine’s request for a Section 1135 Medicaid waiver. The approved waiver enables Maine to provide flexibilities in Medicaid provider screening and enrollment, forgo certain pre-admission screening and annual resident review assessments, lift prior authorization requirements, allow for reimbursement facility services in alternative settings, extend fair hearing timelines, and waive public comment and tribal consultation requirements for certain changes to the Medicaid state plan.
  • April 8, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order allowing remote notarizations.
  • April 10, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order moving Maine’s primary election from Tuesday, June 9, 2020 to Tuesday, July 14, 2020. The order allows applications for absentee ballots to be made in writing or in person, without specifying a reason, up to and including the day of the election.
  • April 13, 2020 – The Governor joined a coalition of Governors from Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin in writing to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma to ask the Administration to reconsider its decision and take action to allow for a special enrollment period of at least 30 days on the federal health care exchange.
  • April 14, 2020—The Governor wrote a letter urging U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to coordinate a nationwide strategy to increase the amount of food available to emergency food programs and to address gaps in the food supply chain.
  • April 14, 2020 – The Governor signed a proclamation extending Maine’s state of civil emergency for another thirty days through May 15, 2020.
  • April 16, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order that will prevent the immediate eviction of tenants other than those who engage in dangerous or unlawful conduct for the duration of the state of emergency. The Governor also strengthened the penalties for landlords who may try to evict tenants by unlawful means, and she extended the timeframe for the eviction process in the event that the Courts reopen before the Governor’s state of emergency is terminated.
  • April 16, 2020 – The Governor in partnership with MaineHousing, announced a new rental assistance relief program for Maine people who cannot pay their rent due to COVID-19.
  • April 22, 2020 – The Governor announced that nearly $11 million in federal funds will support access to child care for Maine’s essential workers, including health care professionals and first responders, and offer relief for child care providers.
  • April 23, 2020 – The Governor announced her vision for the gradual reopening of Maine, it includes:
    • Protecting public health
    • Maintaining healthcare readiness
    • Building reliable and accessible testing
    • Prioritizing private-public collaboration
  • April 27, 2020 – The Governor announced that the Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission (CEFC) and the Revenue Forecasting Committee (RFC) will convene off cycle to examine the economic ramifications of COVID-19 on State government’s revenues.
  • April 28, 2020 – The Governor shared  a plan to gradually and safely restart Maine’s economy. The plan establishes four gradual stages of reopening, the first of which begins May 1st. The stages focus on the ability of a business to operate or an activity to occur in a manner that protects public health and safety. The Maine CDC will be tracking three primary metrics in its evaluation of whether or not to progress through the stages: 1) a downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses and COVID-like syndromic cases; 2) a downward trajectory of documented cases and newly hospitalized patients; and 3) the capacity of Maine’s hospital systems to treat all patients without crisis care and the ability of the state to engage in a robust testing program.
  • April 29, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order extending the stay-at-home order until May 31st. However, it now allows citizens to visit businesses or participate in activities deemed safe to open under Stage 1 of the reopening plan.
  • May 6, 2020 – The Governor announced that she is convening an Economic Recovery Committee charged with developing recommendations to mitigate the damage to Maine’s economy caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to jumpstart a long-term economic recovery for Maine people, businesses, and organizations.
  • May 7, 2020 – The Governor announced that the state has partnered with Maine-based IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. to purchase enough of the company’s recently authorized COVID-19 testing kits to more than triple the State’s testing capacity.
  • May 8, 2020 – The Governor announced a rural reopening plan aimed at reopening certain additional businesses in rural Maine over the course of the next two weeks with added health and safety measures. The plan comes after the Governor stated that her Administration was considering opportunities for regional variation as part of its Restarting Maine’s Economy plan.
  • May 13, 2020 – The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) launched a statewide campaign to promote awareness of affordable health insurance options, particularly for people whose employment or income has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • May 13, 2020 – The Governor signed a proclamation extending Maine’s state of civil emergency for thirty days through June 11, 2020.
  • May 14, 2020 – The Governor announced that, effective immediately, Maine lodging providers can begin accepting future reservations for stays with an arrival date of June 1st and beyond for Maine residents and for non-residents who comply with the State’s 14-day quarantine requirement.
  • May 15, 2020 – The Governor and the Maine Education Commissioner announced that the Maine Department of Education has secured internet access and devices to facilitate at home learning for 100 percent of Maine school children for whom there was a reported need.
  • May 18, 2020 – The Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) provided 1,900 cloth face coverings to the Maine Association of Broadcasters (MAB) for distribution to the state’s broadcast media outlets.
  • May 19, 2020 – The Governor announced the following updates to the plan to restart Maine’s economy:
    • Maine residents may enjoy campgrounds beginning Memorial Day weekend;
    • The Administration is delaying the full reopening of gyms, fitness centers, and nail salons in light of emerging research and experiences in other states of COVID-19 transmission related to these establishments.
  • May 21, 2020 – The Governor announced that the State of Maine has received $52.7 million in Federal grant funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC) to bolster epidemiological and laboratory capacity to respond to infectious diseases, particularly COVID-19. The state will use this funding to enhance its ability to prevent, detect, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by expanding lab capacity and testing sites across Maine in the coming weeks and months.
  • May 26, 2020 – The Governor announced that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is significantly expanding contact tracing by increasing the number of skilled staff and volunteers, harnessing innovative technology, and securing social services to help people with COVID-19 maintain self-isolation.
  • May 27, 2020 – The Governor announced that she is postponing the full reopening of restaurants for dine-in services in York, Cumberland, and Androscoggin counties. The decision to limit their reopening comes amidst an increase in hospitalizations as well as an increase in case counts in these three counties.
  • May 27, 2020 – The Governor announced that Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poors Global Ratings (S&P) have affirmed their credit ratings and outlooks on the State of Maine’s general obligation debt. Moody’s affirmed both their ‘Aa2 rating and stable outlook on Maine’s debt. S&P affirmed their AA rating and stable outlook.
  • May 30, 2020 – The Governor has directed the Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC) to offer to purchase perishable and non-perishable food from restaurants in York, Cumberland, and Androscoggin counties that are unable to open to indoor dining as a result of measures to protect public health and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
  • June 8, 2020 – The Governor announced that the state will quadruple COVID-19 testing capacity at the State lab, develop testing sites throughout Maine, and allow more people in Maine with elevated risk of exposure to get tested for the virus. This dramatically expanded testing capacity will come online in July.
  • June 8, 2020 – The Governor announced an alternative to the State’s 14-day quarantine requirement for people entering Maine. The plan rests on three cornerstones: 1) having visitors certify that they have received a recent negative COVID-19 test to stay in lodging establishments, such as hotels, as an alternative to quarantine; 2) increasing symptom checks at places where visitors tend to go; and 3) supporting community promotion of COVID-19 prevention best practices and public health education.
  • June 10, 2020 – The Governor signed a renewal of the state’s civil emergency for thirty days through July 10th.
  • June 12, 2020 — The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced that 525 essential workers have received financial help for child care and more than 1,600 child care providers have received stipends as part of the nearly $11 million in federal CARES Act funding awarded to Maine. Additional grants will be awarded to child care providers through mid-July.
  • June 12, 2020 – The Governor announced that indoor dining in Androscoggin, Cumberland, and York counties can voluntarily resume on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 with added health and safety protocols outlined in the COVID-19 Prevention Checklist.
  • June 12, 2020 – The Governor released a detailed guidance for Maine local governing bodies to hold gatherings, such as annual town meetings, school budget meetings, and elections, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • June 22, 2020 – The Governor urged the USDA to designate maple syrup as an eligible Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) specialty crop. Doing so will create the pathway for Maine’s maple producers to receive needed CFAP payments.
  • June 22, 2020 – The Governor announced that her administration is postponing the reopening of indoor service at bars to protect public health given the higher risk of COVID-19 transmission in such settings.
  • June 24, 2020 – The Governor posted additional COVID-19 Prevention Checklists for businesses and activities to voluntarily resume on July 1 as part of Stage 3 of the Administration’s Restarting Maine’s Economy Plan .
  • June 24, 2020 – The Governor announced that her administration is dedicating $35 million of Maine’s $1.25 billion in Coronavirus Relief Funding (CRF) provided through the CARES Act to help local and tribal governments and other qualified entities cover costs incurred as a result of COVID-19.
  • June 29, 2020 – The Governor announced that her Administration has approved almost $9 million in grant awards to nearly 100 municipalities across the state under the Keep Maine Healthy Plan to support local COVID-19 public health, education, and prevention effort.
  • July 1, 2020 – The Governor announced that she will be exempting visitors from the States of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey from the 14-day quarantine requirement or negative COVID-19 testing alternative, effective this Friday, July 3, 2020.
  • July 8, 2020 – The Governor issued an Executive Order requiring large retail businesses, restaurants, outdoor bars, tasting rooms, and lodging establishments in Maine’s more populous cities and coastal counties to enforce the State’s face covering requirement. 
  • July 14, 2020 – The Governor announced that seven health care organizations will collectively launch nearly 20 “swab and send” COVID-19 test collection sites that will send samples to the Maine State Lab for testing, strengthening access to safe and accessible testing for residents, tourists, seasonal workers, and other visitors to Maine.
  • July 15, 2020 – The Governor announced that the Economic Recovery Committee has delivered its immediate recommendations to stabilize and support Maine’s economy through the unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • July 17, 2020 – The Governor announced a series of steps her Administration is taking to assist and support school systems across Maine as they consider whether and how to return to in-classroom instruction this fall. Each of these actions aims to provide essential support to promote a safe return for children, teachers, and school staff.
  • July 17, 2020 – The Governor announced that her administration will invest more than $8 million from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund to further boost access to child care and support Maine’s working families in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.