Gov. Janet Mills speaks during the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce's Early Bird Breakfast in Bangor on Dec. 18., 2019. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN

Gov. Janet Mills has extended the State of Civil Emergency for the ninth time since the pandemic started, her office announced on Tuesday. The extension will last through Dec. 23.

A State of Civil Emergency is required in order to draw down Federal resources and to use all means available to respond to and contain the spread of COVID-19, her office said. Under Maine law, Proclamations of Civil Emergencies may be issued in 30 day increments.

“I know we are growing tired. This is not forever, but we have to do these things in order to get our grip on this virus as we make progress toward a vaccine,” Mills said.

Tuesday’s announcement follows Maine’s grimmest milestone yet when the state saw the largest increase in the death toll — 12 deaths from five counties — and another record-high number of new cases with 258 reported.