SOUTH PORTLAND — The city’s public indoor mask mandate expired Wednesday after Mayor Deqa Dhalac issued a proclamation ending the local civil state of emergency enacted in January.

As a result, the mask mandate imposed by City Manager Scott Morelli on Jan. 24 was automatically repealed, he said in a written statement. The mayor declared the civil emergency because of increased COVID-19 transmission and hospitalizations driven by the omicron variant. The City Council decided Tuesday that it should be lifted.

On a related note, Morelli also rescinded the mask mandate for municipal buildings and facilities, effective Thursday. City officials still strongly recommend masking indoors regardless of vaccination status, Morelli said. Masks will be provided in all municipal buildings for staff members and visitors who request them.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends face coverings be worn in public indoor settings in counties with “substantial” or “high” levels of COVID-19 transmission. All counties in Maine currently have high transmission levels, according to the Maine CDC.

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