Coronavirus concerns postpone Maine stamp first-day ceremony
By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has forced a postponement of the first-day ceremony for the United States Maine Statehood forever stamp that was scheduled for Sunday, March 15, Maine officials announced.
The cancellation notice came March 12 after Maine Gov. Janet T. Mills urged the public to cease holding “non-essential indoor gatherings of 250 or more people” in an effort to slow spread of the disease.
A statement from the Maine Bicentennial Commission said the stamp ceremony “will be rescheduled at a date that will likely coincide” with a planned statehood day ceremony in Augusta, the state capital.
The Postal Service said the Maine Statehood stamp will go on sale Sunday, March 15, as scheduled.
It also said it would schedule “a special dedication” for the stamp on a date “when everyone can safely come together to join in observing 200 years of Maine statehood.”
Because few post offices are open on Sunday, the USPS said the stamp should be available to purchase online at the USPS Postal Store and at post offices Monday, March 16.
The stamps should have been printed and distributed to post offices with a warning not to sell them before that date.
With many states banning public meetings because of the coronavirus, it is likely that the Postal Service may have to consider changing the dates of other first-day ceremonies.
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