January 7, 2022

“The best way to thank our health workers – the best way to help ease the burden on their shoulders – is to take their advice: get vaccinated,” said Governor Mills.

Portland, MAINE – Governor Janet Mills today visited the emergency department (ED) and COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) at Maine Medical Center in Portland, where she spoke and thanked hospital staff for their tireless efforts to save the lives of Maine residents during the pandemic.

Governor Mills' visit to MMC

MMC President Jeff Sanders; Joy Moody, IA, MMC ED; Governor Mills; Commissioner Lambrew; Nancijean Goudey, IA, MMC ED

During a post-tour press briefing, the governor called on people in Maine to join her in thanking health workers by rushing to get vaccinated. The vast majority of people hospitalized in Maine are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As of Friday, January 7, there was a record 391 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine, including 110 in intensive care and 59 on ventilators. There are currently 55 intensive care unit (ICU) beds available in Maine.

“Healthcare workers are at the heart of our response to COVID-19. They have been on the front lines for nearly two years, saving the lives of Maine residents, while bearing risks to their own health and the added pressure and stress of the job. During this difficult time, I want them to know how grateful we are for everything they do ”, Governor Mills said. Whether you are providing health care in a hospital, doctor’s office, nursing or assisted living facility, vaccination site, someone’s home, or in the back of an ambulance, know that Maine is grateful to you. But the best way to thank our healthcare workers – the best way to ease the burden on their shoulders – is to take their advice: get vaccinated. I urge all people in Maine to get vaccinated so that you can stay out of hospital, protect our youngest citizens, and ensure that all people in Maine receive medical care, whether or not it is related to COVID. “

“We are very grateful for the support we have received from the National Guard and the federal government at Governor Mills’ request in recent weeks,” said Jeff Sanders, president of Maine Medical Center. “Our healthcare team continues to demonstrate incredible resilience in the face of historically high patient volumes due to COVID-19 and behavioral health crises at a time when we are understaffed due to COVID-related absences. Every support is useful.

Following her visit to MMC, Governor Mills also visited a vaccination clinic hosted by MaineHealth.

To find a vaccination site, visit maine.gov/covid19/vaccines or call the Community Vaccination Line at 1-888-445-4111.