Brunswick Town Hall. File

Brunswick will now require masks in all municipal buildings, regardless of vaccination status. The decision doesn’t extend to schools — yet. The Brunswick school board is expected to weigh mask rules in schools during a meeting Wednesday.

The new rules, which were prompted by Maine’s uptick in COVID-19 cases sparked by the more contagious delta variant, were approved unanimously by officials on Monday night.

Prior to Monday’s vote, masks were only required in the town hall. The mandate was expanded to include all town-owned and town-leased buildings, including the visitor center, Curtis Memorial Library and the People Plus Center.

Councilors discussed expanding the mandate to cover all school buildings, instead deciding to allow the school board to hold its scheduled vote regarding masking rules on Wednesday.

“I would say if the vote doesn’t go the way I hope it goes, we should meet on Thursday and overrule them,” said Councilor Dan Ankeles. “This is a real problem, and delta is very scary and very contagious.”

Councilor Kathy Wilson and Councilor Dave Watson agreed.


“I think we need to take this delta variant and everything very, very seriously,” Wilson said. “We’re talking about our kids; we’re talking about the future. We should be doing everything we can to protect all of us.”

Brunswick Superintendent Phil Potenziano said he has a presentation planned for the public and the school board on Wednesday at 7 p.m. regarding masking guidelines.

“I hope there’s no perception that the schools done something underhanded or nefarious,” Potenziano said. “We’ve followed the protocol when some of the districts around us have decided to go in a different direction.”

Two officials from Mid Coast Hospital addressed the council on Monday about the current state of COVID-19 in Brunswick.

“What’s different from previous surges of COVID is actually we’re seeing a younger population getting sick and actually needing to be in the hospital,” said Mid Coast Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Christopher Bowe. “That’s been a real change with the delta variant that’s been very concerning for all of us.”

CEO and President of Mid Coast-Parkview Lois Skillings said that the vast majority of those who are hospitalized or dying from COVID-19 are unvaccinated.


As of Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control designates the transmission risk in Cumberland County as “substantial,” a classification that corresponds with that recommendation that everyone, regardless of vaccination, wear a mask in indoor, public settings.

There was no end-date determined for the municipal masking rules. Monday’s vote also included rules to allow town officials to participate remotely in public meetings.

According to the Maine CDC, just under 70% of Maine residents had received a final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Tuesday. The CDC estimates that 99% of eligible Brunswick residents are vaccinated.

As of Tuesday, 72,896 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in total statewide, alongside 907 deaths. In Cumberland County, 17,947 have been reported, with 206 deaths.

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