“For your health, for the health of an elderly person, for the health of a child, for our health care workers, for the National Guard, get vaccinated, please. It may save your life or someone else’s.”- Governor Mills

Maine’s hospital systems are experiencing record hospitalizations during a sustained surge of COVID-19 driven almost entirely by the Delta variant. The vast majority of people hospitalized in Maine are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As of December 8, there were a record high 379 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine, including 117 in critical care and 60 on ventilators. There are currently 42 available intensive care unit (ICU) beds available in Maine.

Governor Janet Mills has activated additional members of the Maine National Guard to help alleviate short-term capacity constraints at hospitals and maintain access to inpatient health care services for Maine people amid a sustained surge of COVID-19. Governor Mills has also requested Federal COVID-19 Response Teams from the Biden Administration to supplement hospital staff.

“Hospitals in Maine are doing their best to treat patients and ensure access to care for all while combatting the COVID-19 positivity rate,” said Tim Dentry, President and CEO of Northern Light Health. “Hospitalizations continue to grow and tax our already stressed resources, so this is welcome news. The state has been very collaborative throughout the pandemic, and we expect to deploy National Guard members in support roles to help our staff meet direct patient care needs.”

The Governor continued to urge Maine people to get vaccinated as the best and most effective way to protect their health and those around them and to take commonsense steps like wearing a mask when in indoor public places or crowded outdoor places.

“I am activating the Maine National Guard, and, in consultation with our health care systems, will be deploying them to expand our hospitals’ ability to treat people with COVID-19 and other serious medical conditions. I do not take this action lightly, but we must take steps to alleviate the strain on our health care system and ensure care for all those who need it. I am grateful to the members of the Guard and to our heroic health care workers for their tireless efforts. Just as they are stepping up, so, too, must Maine people. For your health, for the health of an elderly person, for the health of a child, for our health care workers, for the National Guard, get vaccinated, please. It may save your life or someone else’s,” said Governor Mills.

“We are grateful to the Governor and the State of Maine for taking this step at a time when COVID-19 is spreading rapidly among the unvaccinated,” said Andrew Mueller, MD, Chief Executive Officer of MaineHealth. “National Guard assistance will be helpful, though we remain challenged by the current surge and urge everyone to get vaccinated or get a booster if eligible.”