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Starting Friday, health care providers can resume routine procedures and appointments that they have had to put on hold as the state has tried to stem the spread of the new coronavirus. Many providers say they will not reopen right away, and some, including dentists, say they still aren't allowed to provide treatment other than emergency care.

An organization of restaurant owners and workers wants the state to reopen their industry ahead of the Mill’s administration’s latest plan.

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The first wave of Maine business reopenings starts Friday, under the phased guidance measures Gov. Janet Mills started to issue this week. Some companies, particularly where social distancing is relatively easy, are raring to go. But professionals who work in closer quarters with customers are wary.

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More than 100,000 Mainers have filed for unemployment since March. That's just one of the many wide-ranging economic effects of COVID-19. The claims have overwhelmed the Department Of Labor in Maine. And while the state has been able to get benefits to more than 70,000 people so far, many are still waiting.

Self-employed and contract workers in Maine will be able to apply for unemployment starting Friday morning at 8 AM, as the state rolls out its anticipated Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.


More than 26 million Americans have lost their jobs due to the economic fallout of the worldwide coronavirus crisis. As a new federal relief bill sets aside aid for small businesses, our panelists offer answers to Maine business owners and employees seeking support.

Almost 20 thousand Mainers seeking unemployment benefits will soon receive expedited approvals- and denials- in the mail. Additionally, Maine Department of Labor Commissioner, Laura Fortman, says that next week the state will unveil its plan for self-employed and contract workers seeking unemployment because of COVID-19.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public File

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of stress on college students. In just a few weeks, many have had to pack their bags and leave campus, then transition to new, online classes. And for those set to graduate this spring, the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic has many on edge and some rethinking their plans after graduation.

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The state of Maine saw revenues in March come in below estimates by $4.7 million, but that’s a small fraction of the decline they expect to see going forward because of the pandemic.

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Gov. Janet Mills has issued an executive order barring most evictions during the ongoing civil state of emergency. Mills announced the order during a press briefing Thursday, where she also unveiled a rental assistance relief program. Maine now joins several dozen states that have taken action on eviction, but some renters say more protection is needed.

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The pace of first-time claims for unemployment in Maine slowed last week, but at about 13,000, are still well above the numbers before the pandemic, which were generally in the hundreds per week.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

It will likely be at least a week before Mainers who do freelance work, or have already used all their unemployment for the year, will be able to access the new federally-funded unemployment benefits.


All over the country, and in Maine, the coronavirus crisis has caused businesses to shut down and workers to find themselves with no source of income. We find out what government aid is available, how to apply for it, and what other avenues people have for help in this time of need.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

Starting Monday, Mainers seeking unemployment will need to do so in an alphabetical fashion. That's the day the Maine Depeartment of Labor says those with last names beginning with A through H can call the office for help.

The Department of Health and Human Services says low-income Mainers will see a boost in food benefits and quicker access to the general assistance program to help deal with job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.