AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine state employees will no longer be required to wear masks after July 26 as long as they provide proof of immunization against COVID-19, the state budget commissioner said in a Wednesday memo.
The state has required masks in shared indoor work spaces for all employees for nearly two months after Gov. Janet Mills relaxed mask requirements in most public settings. But with the majority of employees now fully vaccinated, those rules can change, Department of Administrative and Financial Services Commissioner Kirsten Figueroa told employees.
Fully vaccinated workers must submit a vaccination card in order to work maskless, the memo said. A recent state survey of its employees indicated that more than 70 percent have been fully vaccinated, higher than the state’s overall rate of 65 percent, according to a Bloomberg News tracker.
State employees are the last major public entity to require masking. The Legislature loosened the requirement for masks in legislative spaces about last month. The end of the state of emergency in Maine at the end of June meant schools no longer needed to require masks.
The state and the Maine Service Employees Association have been at loggerheads occasionally over Maine’s handling of the pandemic. The union brought a complaint to the Maine labor board over transparency concerns.