In this June 2, 2021, file photo, signs remind legislators to wear face coverings in the State House. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Maine legislative leaders are requiring lawmakers to wear masks when they convene next week for a special session.

The Legislative Council voted 7-3 to return to a mask mandate for lawmakers who’ll be gathering amid a growing number of daily infections driven by the delta variant, the Portland Press Herald reported.

The state is dealing with near-record levels of COVID-19 infections as lawmakers gather next week to vote on a redistricting plan. A bipartisan commission faces a deadline of Monday for an agreement on the maps.

“Under every matrix, every metric, every way you would measure this, today we are in a lot worse position than we’ve ever been as far as cases across counties, every county across Maine,” said Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash.

House Minority Leader Kathleen Dillingham, R-Oxford, said she’d comply with the masking requirement but preferred that other lawmakers be allowed to make that choice for themselves.