Maine Legislators Bicker Over Face Shield, in-Person Work Rules

maine state house

A group of lawmakers responsible for overseeing the rules of Maine's two legislative chambers are reviewing pandemic protocols in response to complaints about members not wearing effective masks. 

In a subcommittee meeting Thursday, legislative leaders from both parties discussed changing the Legislature's pandemic rules to mandate that face coverings comply with the state's public health recommendations, the Portland Press Herald reported.

The review follows complaints that some lawmakers were not wearing effective face coverings and frustration from lawmakers who want to be at work in person.

A group of Republican lawmakers filmed themselves at the State House this month not wearing masks, and two Republican lawmakers have been wearing a partial shield that rests on their chin and covers only their mouth while at the State House, the newspaper reports.

The Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the newspaper those partial face shields are not effective at diminishing the spread of the virus, which can travel in a person's respiratory droplets. 

Lawmakers in Maine did not meet over the summer and fall after failing to reach a consensus for reconvening during the pandemic. The new legislative session convened late last month, and virtual committee meetings have taken place this week.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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