In a Maine CDC briefing Thursday afternoon, Governor Janet Mills announced that all licensed health care workers in Maine must get vaccinated by October 1.

The requirement comes from the Maine DHHS and the Maine CDC under existing law to require certain vaccinations of people who work in health care settings. Any individual employed by a hospital, multi-level health care facility, home health agency, nursing facility, residential care facility, intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities, emergency medical service organization or dental practice that is licensed by the State of Maine, must receive the COVID-19 vaccine by October 1. The only exemptions that are allowed are for medical reasons.

"Health care workers perform a critical role in protecting the health of Maine people," Mills said in a press release. "It is imperative that they take every precaution against this dangerous virus, especially given the threat of the highly transmissible Delta variant."

Vaccinations are free and available from your primary care physician and most pharmacies on a walk-in basis. Currently 69.5% of eligible Mainers have had the final dose of the vaccine.

In total to date in Maine, there have been 72,118 cases of COVID-19 reported to the Maine CDC and 903 deaths. There are currently 67 Mainers hospitalized with COVID-19 with 30 of those in critical care and 15 on a ventilator.

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