(AUGUSTA, ME) — This week, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services published its final version of rules surrounding the department’s mandate requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for health care workers. Citing both a lack of jurisdiction as well as zero outbreaks at dental facilities, Maine DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew removed dental health workers from the final mandate. Also dropped from the rules were EMS workers, who similarly fall under a separate board.
“We are pleased that DHHS chose to exclude dental workers from the COVID-19 mandate. For nearly a year and a half, our state’s dental practices have been providing frontline care to patients without incident and faced losing a third of their workers if the mandate stayed in place,” said Senate Republican Leader Jeff Timberlake (R-Androscoggin). “No cases or outbreaks have been identified at any dental practice in Maine, which is a testament to the protocols established by the Maine Dental Association to prevent the spread of COVID-19 long before the mandate came along. In essence, they realized that COVID-19 has become a part of our way of life, and they learned how to adapt.”