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President’s mandate applies to a third of Maine workers

September 10, 2021 GMT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — President Joe Biden’s mandate that companies with 100 or more employees require COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing will apply to about one in three workers in Maine.

About 170,000 Maine workers, or a third of the workforce, are employed by companies in that category, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Curtis Picard, president and chief executive officer of the Retail Association of Maine, said there will be pushback against the requirement but it will increase vaccination rates in Maine.

“We all want this pandemic to be over and we will work with our large and small retailers to help them navigate these new requirements,” he said.

COVID-19 infection rates continue to climb in Maine. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 506 new infections and eight more deaths Friday.

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The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from 205 new cases a day on Aug. 25 to 359 new cases a day on Wednesday.

The greatest number of new infections have been detected in Mainers younger than 20, while Mainers over 80 years old make up the majority of deaths. The death toll in Maine was 959 as of Friday.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.