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Rockland removes mask mandate signs, urges vaccinations

By Stephen Betts | May 04, 2021
Photo by: Stephen Betts

Rockland — Rockland has removed the signs downtown that called for people to wear face coverings outdoors to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

But councilors discussed erecting new signs that encourage the public to be vaccinated.

The Council agreed May 3 that the signs should be removed. The signs were removed by May 4.

The removal was prompted by new recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that wearing masks outdoors was no long necessary if you can maintain physical distance from other people.

In addition, councilors pointed out that the signs put up last summer downtown were looking shabby.

Mayor Ed Glaser said the city should consider erecting new signs that urge people to get vaccinated.

"This (pandemic) will end when everyone either gets sick or are inoculated," Glaser said.

The rate of vaccinations has slowed across Knox County and the country. While most people 50 and older have been vaccinated against the virus, far fewer young people have been vaccinated.

Glaser joked that the city should plant trees by the crosswalks and then post signs saying "We're not out of the woods yet."

The City Council approved an order in July 2020 to require masks while downtown if you cannot be at least six feet away from other people. That order has never been enforced.

Councilor Ben Dorr said that was a difficult thing to enforce, noting that at 3 a.m. on a Sunday, you can easily meet the physical distance requirements, but at 2 p.m. on a Saturday in August you would not be able to keep that distance.

Councilor Nate Davis said the city should leave the order in place and let people wear masks when they feel it is appropriate.

MaineHealth offers a walk-in clinic for COVID-19 vaccines and local pharmacies also offer the vaccinations.

Knox County reported an additional 62 COVID-19 cases in the past week.

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Comments (16)
Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | May 10, 2021 16:31

Valerie.. I know vaccinated people can become infected and spread the virus. That's why caution is still needed. Having faith in God didn't protect the one's that died from this virus and it is your choice to mask, vaccinate or not but I think it is foolhardy. I was once told if I asked God to move a mountain I would be told to bring my shovel. In other words we need to due the work not expect our heavenly father to do what we can do for ourselves and the good of others.

Posted by: Crawford L Robinson | May 10, 2021 16:23

We thank you for your vast knowledge Valerie. May your Covid free luck hold out so you can continue to bless us with your great knowledge, wisdom and second to none research. I walk every day for an hour. I don't have to worry either. I protected myself and my fellow citizens by getting vaccinated and following guidelines.

Posted by: Valerie Wass | May 10, 2021 14:23

Yet, no one has said anything about being vaccinated and still being able to spread the virus!  I do not live in fear.  Why, because I have faith in God!  I have been to a few gatherings with no face masks.  I have been hanging out with family and friends since last summer, again, no mask!  Yet, I seem not to get COVID.

Posted by: Valerie Wass | May 10, 2021 14:21


People are happier because they are no longer in fear of the government and the CDC!

Posted by: Valerie Wass | May 10, 2021 14:20


Kinda hard to mandate it what with the mask mandate being lifted outdoors.  COVID cases are less and less. Stop the fear and get on with your life.  Enjoy a walk in the sunshine without breathing in material.  It is so awesome, Crawford.

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | May 09, 2021 15:36

Have you noticed the healthy change in the atmosphere in town? People are friendlier, happier, more sociable. It is like someone, somewhere has taught folks to be the positive change we all have been looking for.   Thanks, Folks. We all knew you could do it!!    ;)

Posted by: Crawford L Robinson | May 07, 2021 10:19

Now that careful and thorough research has shown that polio was eradicated by way of mandatory vaccinations, I think that the Covid-19 vaccinations should be mandatory as well. It seems the only way to put this terrible plague in the rear view mirror and move our nation forward to normalcy. We must be able to open our schools and businesses safely to do this. We can't continue to let a percentage of the population hold us hostage to this disease for which there is a proven cure.

Posted by: Valerie Wass | May 07, 2021 08:49

Can you all understand that even if you are vaccinated, you can still spread the virus?  As far as signs go, I have my opinion and you all have yours.  I respect yours, please respect mine.

Posted by: Gregory D Kibitz | May 06, 2021 14:36



By your logic we should remove all signs nearly everywhere for any & all things "everybody knows."


EVERYBODY knows we should all wash our hands after using the restroom, esp. public ones in restaurants & supermarkets but,  voila, we still have legally mandated signs posted in all of them saying "All employees must wash hands."


And yes, many will still ignore a sign, even if it's illegal to do so. But some, if even just a few, will heed the rule/suggestion, simply because they got that one last extra reminder.

So yes, more signs are not going to be our "getting to Covid herd immunity" panacea. And they will not ever fully solve strident & dogmatic vaccine resistence. Not sure if anything will.


But a few more cheap signs here & there may help sway a few more to finally vax, and thus help alleviate a bit more vaxx hesitancy.


For, as "Everyone Knows", each & every new shot in an arm gets us all one shot in the arm closer to the promised land of no more Pandemic!  And, at least to me, that's a very good thing!

Posted by: Crawford L Robinson | May 06, 2021 11:36

Valerie ... here is a chart on U.S. polio vaccination requirements. I'm not sure if VS will allow a link attachment in order to view it:

Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | May 06, 2021 09:51 doesn't matter whether the polio vaccine was mandatory or not. In order to reach herd immunity which helps contain the virus more people need to get vaccinated. There is a risk to about every aspect of life so one has to decide whether to be part of the solution or part of the problem. My getting vaccinated helps protect not only me but others as well.

Posted by: Valerie Wass | May 06, 2021 08:54


Don't you know that people who have been vaccinated can still spread it?  So, your statement is so wrong!  Even people who have been vaccinated can still spread the virus. Please post where you found that the Polio vaccine was mandatory for everyone.  I can't seem to find that fact.

Posted by: Valerie Wass | May 05, 2021 20:01


Please do not single out those who choose not to get vaccinated.


The advertising and campaigns for the vaccine have been out for several months now.  Time to move on and those who wish to get it, know that they can, it is plastered all over social media, on the news everyday, etc.  I am pretty darn sure that the population knows that they can get a vaccine.

Posted by: Gregory D Kibitz | May 05, 2021 10:01

Sorry Valerie, but if advertising and public information campaigns did not work, they would not exist.


The cost of a few small signs to the city is nada compared to the moral benefit of saving even just one single human life from long Covid or death. Not to mention the true fiscal impact of each new patient on our already bloated, overpriced & overwhelmed sickness care system.


A Small Cost ===> A Very Huge Benefit.

So kind of a no brainer.


Sign, Sign, Everwhere a Sign,

Telling Us to Mask & to Mind!

Covid Kills & Vaccines Save

Heed the sings & cheat the grave!

Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | May 05, 2021 08:15

In the 1950s Polio crippled millions of Americans and it wasn't until vaccinations  became mandatory that this disease was eliminated.  Half of the population unwilling to take the vaccine will grant this virus the opportunity to just keep going and going and for those of you that are satisfied with this outcome stop complaining about all the restrictions and regulations you are mandating for everyone. Don't plant the trees Ed they'll just P on them.

Posted by: Valerie Wass | May 05, 2021 06:31

Waste of money! Everyone knows that they can get vaccinated.  Putting up several signs is a waste of money and tells everyone that all of Rockland is for getting vaccinated, which is not the case.

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