News Flash

City News

Posted on: December 21, 2020

Public Health Staff Remind Residents About Safe Holiday Gatherings

Visit staythecourse.me website

Portland’s Public Health Division is reaching out to wish all a happy and healthy holiday season and to provide you with some tips for celebrating safely, amidst unprecedented rates of COVID-19 in Maine:

  • Celebrating virtually or with the people you live with continues to be the safest choice this winter.
  • If you do choose to gather with those who do not live with you, gatherings and activities held outdoors are safer than indoor gatherings.
  • Wear a mask both indoors and outdoors.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
  • Provide extra, unused face coverings.
  • If you must travel, do so only to and from States which per Executive Order allow for exemptions to testing and quarantine requirements. This includes New Hampshire and Vermont as of November 13, 2020. 

Now is the time to consider alternative winter holiday activities with families, friends, and neighbors including:

  • Scheduling a time to eat a meal together virtually and add to the joy by making it an “ugly” sweater party or a cookie decorating contest.
  • Walk around your neighborhood and/or town to see the decorations from a safe distance.
  • Hold a snowman or snow angel contest.
  • Build a snow fort or other snow structure.
  • Go skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing, or sledding.

Remember to participate in these activities on “off” days where attractions will be less crowded. For more information about safe outdoor activities, please reach out to Amanda Hutchins, Healthy Eating Active Living Program Coordinator: ahutchins@portlandmaine.gov.

Portland Public Health would like to ensure residents are aware of two recent changes at the State level with regard to COVID-19 prevention. On December 11, 2020, Governor Mills strengthened the Face Covering Requirement for the State of Maine to include a responsibility on businesses to enforce the mandate, not allowing patrons violating the order to enter all public spaces regardless of the type of entity or size. The Maine Department of Education has downgraded the designation of Cumberland County schools from a “green” to a “yellow” designation joining Androscoggin, Oxford and York Counties. 

Stay the Course Portland continues to provide the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 prevention, education, and resources.

For more information, please contact Bob Fowler, Director of Public Health: bfowler@portlandmaine.gov


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