Gov. Janet Mills announced June 11 that Maine’s State of Civil Emergency will end June 30.

“Today, we take another important step forward in our return to normal,” Mills stated in a news release, “After 15 long, difficult months, ending the State of Civil Emergency is a welcome milestone that reflects the progress Maine has made in getting people vaccinated, reducing the spread of the virus, and getting back to normal.

“Maine people have persevered, and, although challenges remain, we will get through them together just as we did this past year. I congratulate and thank Maine people for all they have done to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their fellow citizens.”

Mills temporarily extended the current State of Civil Emergency, which was set to expire Sunday, June 13, through June 30, to ensure an orderly transition out of the emergency, allowing state government departments to continue necessary pandemic-related services.

During this time, departments will identify any policies that may need temporary extensions past June 30, such as flexibilities for child care providers and home-and community-based services given ongoing pandemic-related challenges.

The state’s last remaining face covering requirement, which only applies to indoor pre-kindergarten-through-12th grade schools and child care settings, will also end June 30.

However, Maine CDC will continue to recommend, though not require, unvaccinated people – including those under 12 who are not yet eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine – wear face coverings indoors.

School Administrative Units and child care settings may require face coverings, as some businesses have done. Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services continues to encourage schools to participate in its free pooled testing program, which reduces the spread of the virus in schools and eliminates the need for quarantining for participating asymptomatic students and staff.

“The  guidance for schools, including recommended face coverings indoors for unvaccinated people, will help protect the health and safety of students and staff as   COVID-19 continues to impact our communities,” said Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew of the Department of Health and Human Services, and Commissioner Pender Makin of the Department of Education.

“We celebrate our state’s success in navigating the pandemic, but recommend schools maintain protocols and participate in the pooled testing program, recognizing that many children are not yet eligible for vaccination.”

The State of Civil Emergency allowed Gov. Mills to implement public health measures and deploy all available governmental tools to respond to and contain COVID-19. As of June 11, most states in the nation still have active emergency declarations, according to the National Governors Association.

The governor’s office stated Maine “continues to demonstrate nation-leading progress in administering vaccinations and containing the spread of COVID-19. More than 73% of Maine people age 12 and older received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 64.9 percent are fully vaccinated, according to the U.S. CDC vaccination tracker.

Maine, adjusted for population, also ranks fourth lowest in total number of cases and fourth lowest in number of deaths from COVID-19, according to the U.S. CDC.”