Gov. Janet Mills on Wednesday extended the State of Civil Emergency in Maine through April 15, 2021.
This is the 13th extension since the initial declaration on March 15, 2020.
Citing the National Governors Association, Mills’ office said the decision is in line with most other states, including Vermont, whose governor extended its state of emergency on Tuesday.
“We are in a race between vaccinations and variants,” Mills, a Democrat, said in a statement.
She said more than a quarter of all people in Maine have received their first vaccine dose, and while that is good progress, the state has to “keep our foot to the gas to get more people vaccinated.”
Maine’s current emergency declaration ends on March 18. The declaration allows Maine to deploy all available tools to respond to and contain COVID-19. Under Maine law, proclamations of civil emergencies may only be issued in 30-day increments.
Maine lawmakers have tried to strip Mills of emergency powers to allow businesses to reopen, but last Thursday a bill calling for an end to the state of emergency declaration was voted down in the Legislature despite bipartisan support.