COVID-19 UPDATES - REOPENING CHANGES AND EXPANDED TESTING
The administration has announced that Maine residents may now enjoy campgrounds beginning this Memorial Day weekend. She has also updated guidance for all lodging providers to allow them to accept future reservations for stays with an arrival date of June 1 and beyond for Maine residents and for non-residents who comply with the State’s 14-day quarantine requirement. However, it has also been announced that the full reopening of gyms, fitness centers and nail salons has been delayed in light of emerging research and experiences in other states of COVID-19 transmission linked to these establishments reopening. The latest details of the reopening plan can be found at
I’m also pleased to share that since our COVID-19 testing capacity has tripled, thanks to the IDEXX partnership, testing prioritization has been eliminated - meaning doctors are now able to order tests for anyone they suspect needs one.
NEW LAW ON FIREWORKS
I have heard from many people in the area that the use of fireworks has become problematic for people, the environment and wildlife. This past session I introduced a bill to mitigate some of those issues. After working with some fireworks businesses, we were able to pass a bill unanimously that strengthens consumer education about the environmental impacts of fireworks. I am hopeful that the new requirements will help address some of the concerns that people have had in the past.
DOES THE STATE OWE YOU MONEY?
Each year, tens of millions of dollars go unclaimed in Maine. These financial assets are turned over by national and local businesses and organizations that lose contact with the rightful owners of the funds. The State Treasurer holds these assets until claimed by the owner or heir. Find out if any of these funds belong to you, your business, your friends or your family by visiting:
WARD OFF BROWNTAIL MOTHS
browntail moth season
. These pests harm our trees and wood products and can be annoying or even dangerous to humans in some cases. Clip and destroy any webs you see as soon as possible to prevent increases in the browntail moth population.
PROPERTY TAX FAIRNESS CREDIT
Eligible Maine taxpayers may receive a portion of their property tax or rent paid during the tax year on their Maine individual income tax return whether they owe Maine income tax or not. Homeowners or renters who meet certain income and property tax and/or rent paid limitations during the tax year may qualify. Limits have increased, so if you were not eligible before, you may be now. To learn more
follow this link
or call Maine Revenue Services at (207) 626-8475.
THIS SUMMER, EXPLORE MAINE
One of the best ways to pass the time during COVID-19 is to get outside, while maintaining a six foot distance from others. While some coastal state parks are closed until June 1, many others remain open, and they are incredible places to visit. You can search for state parks based on the region or activity you’re looking for at
. And you can find information on passes and fees
. If you like to fish, check out
this year’s fish stocking report
as you decide where to head out on the water.
FREE CLASSES FOR 2020 HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES
Maine’s community colleges have provided our 2020 high school graduates with an awesome gift, free summer courses! Students interested in getting a head start on their college career will be eligible to choose from online college-level classes in English, math, sciences, languages, psychology, history, digital photography, creative writing and more. More information and details on how to register are available at
Each year the Maine Legislature recognizes one student from each county who is currently pursuing or planning to pursue education at a two- or four-year degree-granting Maine college or technical school with a scholarship. This year's application deadline has been extended to June 1. Learn more and apply at
FREQUENTLY USED RESOURCES
As always, here’s a set of resources to help with the most common COVID-19 problems Mainers are facing:
LOCAL FOOD RESOURCES
I have been hearing both from people who are worried about having enough food and those who are looking for a way to contribute in this crisis. Not only can our local food pantries help people who might need food assistance, but they are also in need of donations.
- Poland Community Church Food Bank, 1208 Maine St., 207-998-7118 or 207-998-4069. Open Wednesdays from 2 - 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
- Lake Region Baptist Church, 1273 Roosevelt Trail, 207-310-1419. Open on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month from 4-6 p.m.
- Casco Village Church, 941 Meadow Rd., 207-627-4282. Open on the fourth Thursday of the month from 2-5 p.m. or by appointment in special circumstances.
- Casco Alliance Church, 450 Roosevelt Trail, 207-693-9601. Open on the first Tuesday and third Monday of the month from 6-7 p.m.
Expanded Meals on Wheels eligibility
: As a result of COVID-19, the current eligibility requirements for Meals on Wheels are:
- 60 and older AND homebound due to illness or social distancing.
- Under 60, on SSDI and having difficulty preparing meals and homebound due to illness or social distancing.
- Under 60, on SSDI and living with someone who is receiving Meals on Wheels and homebound due to illness and social distancing.
To apply in Raymond and Casco, click
or call 1-800-427-7411. To sign up in Poland, call 1-800-427-1241