Gov. Janet Mills speaks at a press briefing in Augusta on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s governor said Wednesday that school employees who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 are putting students and communities at risk.

More than three-quarters of school staff in Maine are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, but the percentage varies widely from school to school. Some schools, including Lisbon Community School in Lisbon and Mount View Elementary School in Thorndike, have percentages less than 20 percent.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills stopped short of calling for a mandate and said she expects school employees to “do the right thing” without one. She said the state is looking into whether President Joe Biden’s requirement that employees in workplaces of more than 100 people get vaccinated or face weekly testing applies to public school workers.

“If you’re taking care of Maine kids and you’re choosing not to get vaccinated, you’re saying that you’re more important than the children who are in your care. Please just get vaccinated,” Mills said.