At the Bar Harbor Town Council meeting on Tuesday, January 18th, the Council adopted a resolution encouraging everyone to wear a mask within the Town of Bar Harbor.

Here's the resolution

WHEREAS, the United States experienced an outbreak of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and its associated disease COVID-19, and has documented over sixty-one million cases and over eight hundred and thirty thousand deaths; and

WHEREAS, the World Health Organization characterized the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic, and defines mitigation strategies as masking, distancing, and maintaining respiratory hygiene;   obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine series and prescribed boosters is the pathway out of the pandemic; and

WHEREAS, recently, we have experienced an increase in COVID-19 positive cases and hospitalizations due to the COVID-19 Omicron Variant, and a shortage of healthcare workers and testing supplies; and

WHEREAS, the Center for Disease Control ("CDC") has emphasized the COVID-19 risk to individuals is dependent on exposure, and transmission is through respiratory and airborne droplets produced in closed airspaces; and

WHEREAS, Maine has seen an increase in positivity rate of COVID-19 tests from 0.4% in July 2021 to 18.9% in January 2022, Maine Hospitals have seen the highest hospitalization rate with over 400 patients hospitalized for COVID-19, over 155,000 Mainers have been infected with COVID-19 and over sixteen hundred have died; and

WHEREAS, since January of 2021 cases have increased exponentially locally and across our state; as of January 12, 2021 – Maine had 30,000+ cases and as of January 12, 2022, Maine has had 155,000+ cases; as of January 14, 2021, there were 66 cases and a total of 2 hospitalizations at MDI Hospital and as of January 12, 2022, there have been 378 cases and 26 hospitalizations; and

WHEREAS, the US 7-day average case rate per one hundred thousand is at 18.83% as of January 10, 2022, compared to the 7-day case rate per one hundred thousand in January of 2021 which was 6.7%; the variants of Delta and Omicron are highly infectious and are putting a strain on the National, State and Regional healthcare delivery systems; and

WHEREAS, the CDC recommends, as a safety measure, wearing face coverings (masks) over the nose and mouth to help prevent the wearer from spreading airborne virus particles and causing new infections and to prevent persons wearing the face-covering from becoming infected with COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, given the increased transmissibility of Omicron, a well-fitted medical grade or KN95 masks are recommended over cloth face coverings;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Bar Harbor Town Council, that this Council strongly encourages Bar Harbor businesses to require mask-wearing, regardless of vaccination status, and for residents and patrons to respect those requirements; and be it further

RESOLVED that failing to respect a business' requirement may mean a business could ask a resident or patron to leave an establishment and, if that resident or patron refuses, a trespassing citation may be issued.

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