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Health

Governor Mills Calls On School Staff To Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19

Mills 9-22-21.JPG
Maine CDC
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Maine Public
Gov. Janet Mills gives updates on the state's coronavirus response at the Maine CDC press briefing on Wednesday Sept. 22, 2021.

In a week where Maine has surpassed 1,000 COVID-19 deaths and broken yet another record for hospitalizations, Gov. Janet Mills is urging workers in Maine schools to get vaccinated. In a CDC briefing Wednesday, Mills made a direct call to school staff. Statewide, nearly 76% are fully vaccinated, but the rates can vary widely by school, with some reporting as low as 20%.

"If you're a school board member, if you're an administrator, if you're a school district that's not requiring universal masking, you're endangering the children, the staff, the teachers, and everyone who enters that school," Mills said at the CDC press briefing. "Please, just get vaccinated. And whether vaccinated or not, wear a mask."

Nearly 1,400 cases and more than 50 outbreaks have already been identified in Maine schools.

Mills is also calling on local leaders to urge people in their communities to get vaccinated, as a record number of people are hospitalized for the third day in a row. 226 people are in the hospital and 88 are in the ICU. Mills says 90% of people in critical care are unvaccinated, and too often didn't think they would be sickened by Covid.

"I just want to beg people to take it much more seriously. Take the masking protocols more seriously. The responsibility of getting vaccinated much more seriously. And listen to what people like Pope Francis said: 'Vaccination is a gesture of love.' Think about it that way," Mills said.