Early effects on Maine health workforce uneven as Janet Mills’ vaccine deadline hits – Bangor Daily News

AUGUSTA, Maine — Effects of Gov. Janet Mills’ vaccine mandate for health care workers trickled in as a key deadline hit on Friday, with hospitals reporting smaller staffing hits than those expected at nursing homes and providers serving people with intellectual disabilities.

Maine was set to begin enforcing the requirement at the close of business on Friday. It is one of the strongest mandates in the country with no testing alternative, although the Democratic governor pushed back the initial deadline by a month and said it would allow people who began their vaccination course by Friday to continue working while wearing protective gear.

The controversial mandate went into effect amid a massive national worker shortage that is slamming virtually all sectors. In Maine, none have been hit harder than health care, which has accounted for 12 percent of pandemic job losses here. That shortage has resulted in service reductions at hospitals and a handful of nursing home closures.

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after three years as a reporter at the Kennebec Journal. A Hallowell native who now lives in Augusta, he graduated from the University of Maine in…
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