The Star-Herald

Presque Isle area community coronavirus updates

These are some of the latest updates we’ve received regarding events and schedules changed due to coronavirus precautions. Visit our websites, thecounty.me, fiddleheadfocus.com and bangordailynews.com, for continually updated information about coronavirus in The County and in Maine.

Wintergreen Arts Center’s Adult Art Night scheduled for Thursday, March 19 has been postponed. A rescheduled date is yet to be announced.

The University of Maine at Presque Isle has further limited the use of public spaces on campus. The Campus Center, Gentile Hall, Center for Innovative Learning and the Houlton Higher Education Center will be fully closed down to the public as well as non-critical, general faculty, staff and student use. All campus buildings will be locked.

The University of Maine System, which includes the University of Maine at Presque Isle and the University of Maine at Fort Kent, stated that employees who are able to work remotely were asked to do so starting Thursday, March 19. UMS is prohibiting all domestic travel with narrow exceptions for travel within Maine. Classes will resume via distance instruction and other modalities on Wednesday, March 25. There are no other adjustments being made to the semester calendar at this time.  Decisions on commencement ceremonies are expected by April 15.  

With attention to the guidance from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention and upon consideration of the size of the usual congregations, Bishop Robert P. Deeley is temporarily suspending all daily and Sunday Masses and religious services throughout the Diocese of Portland, effective immediately. The bishop is also issuing a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass for Maine Catholics during this time.

Northern Maine Community College has canceled its annual job fair scheduled for Thursday, March 26.

Wintergreen Arts Center has canceled its Artful Egg event originally scheduled for Saturday, March 28 and their April exhibition for the First Friday Downtown Art Walk scheduled for Friday, April 4.

Aroostook CA$H Coalition has suspended its free tax preparation program, at sites in Presque Isle, Fort Kent and Houlton, until further notice.

The Central Aroostook Humane Society has closed until further notice. Employees will still be at the shelter to care for animals, but adoptions will be carried out online and through approved appointments. Donations of cat and dog food will still be accepted, but not toys, blankets, or other supplies. Casual visits to the shelter are not allowed at this time.

Presque Isle City Manager Martin Puckett said city hall would stay open, but recommended that residents utilize online services for licenses, registrations, vital records, online payments and permits. 

The Town of Mapleton announced a variety of closures to public buildings. The municipal building was closed to the public beginning on March 19. Office staff will remain available at regular hours by phone, email and mail. Additionally, all recreational programs were postponed and the Mapleton Fire Department building closed to the public.

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap said all Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices are closed, effective immediately, until further notice. Dunlap said he is working with the Maine Legislature to extend all registrations, temporary plates, registrations, disability placards, State ID cards and driver’s licenses that are expiring during this state of emergency.

Maine Department of Labor CareerCenter services will be available online and by phone. Visit mainecareercenter.gov or, for the Presque Isle CareerCenter, .mainecareercenter.gov.  There is also a “live chat” option. CareerCenter staff are also available by phone; call the Presque Isle CareerCenter at 207-768-6829 or 1-800-635-0357. 

All local Social Security offices are closed to the public for in-person service as of Tuesday, March 17. Services are available online and by phone. Visit the Social Security & Coronavirus webpage for updates and contact information.

The Maine Prisoner Re-Entry Network is suspending all community meetings for the foreseeable future. 

Live public activities have been postponed at the Roads to Recovery Community Center and Aroostook Recovery Center of Hope. The center has activated a zoom account and will be utilizing our Facebook page for individuals who want to check in, join meetings and/or continue coaching sessions. Call the centers at 207- 493-1278 or 207- 254-2213 for more information.

Beginning on March 23, 2020, offices and facilities of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will be closed to the public. Services will remain available through their website at mefishwildlife.com. Contact them directly for assistance through email, their Facebook page or by calling 207-287-8000 during regular business hours (Monday-Friday 8 a.m. -5 p.m.).

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