Local information regarding COVID-19
What's open, closed, and changed in the Bethel area
UPDATED APRIL 3, 2020
Governor Mills Issues Stay Healthy at Home Mandate & Restricts Lodging and Travel
As of April 5 at noon, to deter travel into the state of Maine, ALL lodging operations, including short-term rentals and campgrounds, should stop taking reservations until at least April 30. Housing vulnerable populations is OK. ALL people entering the state must quarantine themselves for 14 days upon arrival. Read press release
As of April 3, 2020, restrictions have been significantly strengthened to prevent the the spread of COVID-19. The "Stay Healthy at Home" directive requires people in Maine to stay at home at all times unless for an essential job or an essential personal reason, such as obtaining food, medicine, health care, or other necessary purposes.Restrictions are in place until April 30, 2020.
Further restrictions, include:
- For essential businesses and operations that remain open:
- the number of customers in their buildings at any one time are limited,
- curb-side pickup and delivery options should be use as much as possible,
- and businesses should enforce CDC-recommended physical distancing requirements for their customers and employees
- Use of public transportation is prohibited unless for an essential reason or job that cannot be done from home
- People traveling together in private vehicles should be limited to persons within the immediate household unless transporting for essential activities.
- In-person classroom instruction is prohibited until at least May 1, 2020
- People should maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from each other when out of the home for essential functions.
- Dine-in areas of restaurants remain closed. Takeout and delivery is still allowed.
Defining "Essential Jobs and Activities"
Essential jobs are defined under Governor Mills’ March 24 Executive Order outlining essential businesses and operations. Essential personal activities include the following with relation to an individual, their family, household members, pets, or livestock:
- Obtaining necessary supplies for household consumption or use, such as groceries, and supplies and equipment needed to work from home, laundry, and products needed to maintain safety, sanitation, and essential maintenance of the home or residence.
- Obtaining medication or medical supplies and seeking medical or behavioral health or emergency services.
- Providing care, including transportation, of oneself, a family member, friend, pet or livestock in another household or location for essential health and safety activities and to obtain necessary supplies and services.
- Traveling to and from an educational institution for purposes of receiving meals or instructional materials for distance learning.
- Engaging in outdoor exercise activities, such as walking, hiking, running, or biking, but, only in compliance with the social gathering restriction in Executive Order 14 and all applicable social distancing guidance published by the U.S. and Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Travel required by a law enforcement officer or court order; and
- Traveling to and from a federal, State, or local government building for a necessary purpose.
- For essential businesses and operations that remain open:
For additional resources for people and businesses, click here.
See below for news regarding openings, closings, and changes of businesses, schools, and other community organizations.
Bethel area news regarding COVID-19 response
Alerts from Healthcare Facilities
If you suspect you have COVID-19 or any other flu-like symptoms, DO NOT go directly to a healthcare facility. Call first for instructions. See who should get tested.Rumford Hospital and Bridgton Hospital (Central Maine Healthcare family of health care facilities)
Stephens Memorial Hospital
- Closures and changes in the Central Maine Healthcare system
- Frequently-asked questions
- Donation requests/instructions for personal protective equipment (PPE), including fabric masks
Bethel Family Dentistry - Closed to regular appointments. Call 207-824-3378 in case of emergency.Brookview Residential (assisted living facility) - No visitors other than staff or emergency care.Mountain View EyeCare - Closed to routine appointments - call 207-364-4491 in case of emergency.Tri-County Mental Health - All appointments will now be over phone or video call service. Group services cancelled. Details here.
- All routine test, procedures, and therapies have been suspended
- Cafeteria and meeting rooms are closed to the public
- View updates from AVH/North Country Healthcare
- Donations are being coordinated by Clare Fox
Restaurants & Groceries
ServicesBennett's Automotive - Open; please call ahead and don't enter the office.Crockett & Wright law office - please call; staff working but asking public not to enter the office.Maine Energy Systems statement regarding wood pellet delivery proceduresMountain Explorer shuttle bus linking Sunday River and Bethel Village, and Mountain Express service from Sunday River to the River Valley area, have suspended service for the seasonSkin Cayer & NailsTop Notch Tree Service - Spring service has started. Call for estimates.Varney Agency insurance - No walk-in service. Calls welcome.W.J Wheeler Insurance - Bethel and South Paris offices closed to general public; please call for assistance.
Schools/EducationMSAD 44 Schools - Telstar Regional Middle/High School, Crescent Park School, and Woodstock Elementary School, will be closed from Monday, March 16 through April 27. Remote teaching and learning will be taking place across all grade levels during this time.Gould Academy - Campus closed; remote learning from April 6-20The Eddy School - Teaching remotely and sharing lots of at-home learning resources for all students out of school.UMaine 4-H Camp at Bryant Pond is offering learning kits to kids in the Bethel area
LodgingThe Bethel Inn Resort - Closed through April 30. Taking new reservations for summer and fall.Bethel Village Motel - ClosedGrand Victorian Inn - ClosedPerennial Inn - not taking reservations for spring; accepting reservations for summer and fallRiver View Resort - No new reservations until mid-April. Cancellations may be made with no fee during that period. Pool is closed to members (memberships will be extended accordingly)
Events, Meetings, and Community OrganizationsBethel Alliance Church is closed for all services and meetingsBethel Library is closed until at least March 29. Patrons who have materials currently checked out should wait to be notified until returning them.Bethel Rotary Club meetings are cancelled until the end of March.Catholic Churches (Our Lady of the Snows in Bethel and St. Athanasius/St. John in Rumford): Closed for Mass. Baptisms, weddings, and funerals may continue with only immediate family present.Museums of the Bethel Historical Society is suspending in-person research appointments until further noticeWest Parish Congregational Church cancelled all worship services in the sanctuary and gatherings of groups. For ministerial concerns contact Rev. Dr. Tim LeConey at 824-2688 or firstname.lastname@example.org
GovernmentPost Offices are open regular hours.
Newry Town Office - closed to the public. Please call 207-824-3123 for assistance.Greenwood Town Office - closed to the public. Please call 207-875-2773 for assistance.Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles - offices now closed.
Town Office closed to the public. Please call 207-824-2669 for guidance on online.
Transfer station open usual hours (Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, 9am-4pm), but the free table is closed and minimal assistance from staff.
Waste Water Treatment Plant and Department of Public Works offices are closed to the public.
What businesses can do and how the chamber can helpDue to so much public uncertainty in response to COVID-19, it would be smart to communicate with your customers every step of the way. Update your website with your response to this - whether you're closing, or staying open with extra precautions, or adjusting your business plans (i.e. offering delivery). Make sure your social media reflects this, and don't be afraid to change your mind as more information becomes available from state- and federal-level sources.if you are making changes, please let us know if you plan to:
We can amplify those messages so it's best to be proactive. The chamber answers many phone calls and messages from locals and visitors alike, so if you have information to share, please:
Change your hours;
Cancel/postpone your event; or
Announce any other changes.
We have now created another new page strictly for resources for individuals/families, including access to food, as well as resources for businesses, such as emergency loans, unemployment access, and links to the CDC, IRS, and industry associations working with state and federal legislation. We will continue to update this page as more changes, especially on the federal level.