Portland, Maine Mask Mandate to End Soon
The Return of the Mask Mandate
After the holidays in early January, the Portland City Council unanimously voted to bring back the mask mandate to help combat the Omicron variant. This meant that masks had to be worn in all public areas and in restaurants unless actively eating or drinking. The mandate returned on January 5th. Businesses could go around the mask mandate if they chose to require proof of vaccination as well. Some businesses opted to require both masks and proof of vaccination.
Back to Normal
According to WGME, the mandate was voted on Monday night, and in a 7-2 vote, the indoor mask mandate will be repealed as of February 17th.
This of course doesn't mean that area businesses will necessarily follow suit so keep a mask on hand just in case. This also doesn't mean a mask mandate couldn't return in the future if COVID-related hospitalizations increase again.
Current COVID Numbers
According to Portland Press Herald, hospitalizations peaked on January 13th with 436 patients and as of Monday, February 7th that number is down to 327.
Cumulative cases statewide are 181,010 as of February 5th. 133,351 confirmed, 1,804 deaths, and 4,019 hospitalizations.
According to Maine.gov, there have been nearly 2,500,000 doses administered thus far.
Here's hoping we will return back to a version of normal soon. At least in time for the warmer weather because, to be honest, I'm loving how the mask keeps my face warm lately. There are a handful of other towns with a mask mandate such as Brunswick and South Portland no word yet if they will lift the mandate anytime soon.