Vaccinators prepare their tables prior to opening a COVID-19 clinic at the Augusta Armory, Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021, in Augusta, Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty/AP

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In view of the new and more transmissible COVID-19 variant omicron, which is here, and the surging delta variant: Why is the State of Maine not doing everything possible to curb the spread by imposing a mask mandate in public indoor venues, and a limit on the number of persons permitted to gather? It is clear that three doses of the vaccine does not totally prevent the transmission of the virus. Vaccines, while of paramount importance, must be accompanied by all CDC recommended safety protocols. Namely, the wearing of face masks in public indoor venues.

In a perfect world, one could rely on the individual to take full responsibility in doing the most prudent thing for oneself, family, friends and community. However, that is not the world we live in. I have watched this state impose strict mandates at the beginning of this pandemic when things were less dire. I have watched individuals in many of our large retail outlets wearing masks for eight-plus hours while being subjected to thousands of shoppers, many of whom are unmasked. I urge the State of Maine, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and Gov. Janet Mills to require the wearing of masks to protect all residents of Maine as there are many who are vaccinated but may not have the same immunity due to medical reasons.

Faced with a surge of this nature, it would behoove our leaders and community to take all measures necessary to lessen the impact of this scourge.

Nina Jonas