Due to the dramatic increase in Maine’s COVID-19 positivity rate and a continued high rate of hospitalizations, the Mills Administration announced that it will extend the requirement for certain businesses statewide to close by 9:00 p.m. in order to limit activities that could contribute to the transmission of COVID-19. The early closure limits extended indoor gatherings among members of the public, which are activities that present a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission, and does so during later hours when people are more likely to lower their guard, jeopardizing adherence to critical public health and safety measures. However, the early closure requirement also limits business disruption by allowing these businesses to maintain daytime operations and to continue curbside pick-up and delivery service after 9:00 p.m. The requirement, which was scheduled to expire on Sunday, January 3, 2021, will continue until further notice.
Maine’s COVID-19 positivity rate is 5.43 percent for PCR tests over the last 7 days, representing a significant increase over the prior 7-day period. There are 177 people currently hospitalized with the virus in Maine, including 48 in intensive care.