The Mills administration should err on the side of providing as much information about the location of COVID-19 hot spots to Maine people.

Certainly privacy should be protected, but there are ways to provide data that would make its release more accessible and actionable while protecting privacy. For example, releasing information by ZIP code ranges would provide at least some level of detail slightly larger than a single town but smaller than a county, which are large.

More detail should also be released about congregate living outbreaks, such as nursing homes. Mainers with loved ones in long-term care facilities are rightly concerned, and they deserve to know how their family and friends are protected. When the contact tracing of an outbreak in a congregate living facility identifies the manner in which the virus was introduced to the facility, that should be made public. Whether it was a family member, a contractor, a staff person or a health care professional, each has different implications for how we best protect members of our communities.

As Maine reopens, we must be respectful of others’ needs. If a business does not wish to be open, that is the business’ choice. If a person does not feel comfortable going out, especially if they are part of a more vulnerable population, then that person should stay home.

Paul R. LePage

governor of Maine, 2011-2019


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