COVID-19 Updates

In response to the ever changing news about the impacts of the COVID-19 virus on the Pownal Community and the world, we have compiled a list of Pownal's response to the situation as it applies locally. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we face this challenging time together.
SCHOOLS: All schools in RSU #5 are closed for the remainder of the school year. The last day for remote learning will be Friday, June 19th. For more information visit:
STAY AT HOME ORDER: Governor Mills extended her "Stay Healthy at Home" Executive Order that requires Maine people to remain at home, unless they have to leave for an essential job or an essential activity like obtaining food, medicine, health care, or other necessary purpose. The extension will last until at least May 31st. For the full Executive Order click here.
ROADSIDE CLEANUP: From now until May 23rd residents who are interested in participating may pick up clear trash bags outside the Town Office or at Short Stop (Rosie's). Residents are asked to observe social distancing if other are present when picking up bags. The clear bags are for roadside trash ONLY. They may be left out with your regular household blue bag trash for pick up on Friday's.
TOWN BUILDINGS: All town buildings, including the Town Office, Fire Department& Public Works buildings are closed to the public until further notice. Pownal residents are urged to utilize the ONLINE SERVICES on the POWNAL WEBSITE to conduct Town Office Business. If you cannot utilize the online services, please contact the Town Office to discuss alternative options.
Town Office 207-688-4611
Code Enforcement Officer: 207-688-4431
Public Works: 207-688-4407
Road Commissioner: 207-650-0433
Fire Department: 207-688-2211
ELECTIONS: State Primary, Municipal Officers & RSU #5 Budget Validation Referendum
The Governor has officially moved the Election back to July 14th. This does mean a couple adjustments to our schedule:
Requesting an ABSENTEE BALLOT will be available: Monday, June 15, 2020
You may also request a ballot over the phone: 207-688-4611
At this time there is no deadline to request an absentee ballot - That being said please know that requests to have ballots mailed ON ELECTION DAY will not be delivered on-time.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
We have some great resources here in Town! We have refocused the "Bucket Brigade" from winter sand delivery to helping puck up items from the store or making a quick delivery of items to individuals. Additionally, that list has grown to include the Freeport Rotary Club, members from the Pownal Fire & Rescue Department as well as people just volunteering. Please reach out and we will put you in touch with one of these wonderful volunteers!
Health Officer Updates:

COVID-19 Virus   

UPDATE 6/1/20

“Covid-19 - We are still learning how to fly the Covid-19 airplane and while some information remains the same, we are still learning how we can not only protect ourselves and our families but how we go on with life safely.  Since information is changing all the time, I refer you to the Maine CDC website for up to date information.  As former health care providers,  Dr. Romanowsky and I want to remind you that medical care guidelines come from evidence-based information.  That is: results from controlled studies and trials and shared information in the medical community about what works.   The process can be sometimes slow but the goal is a safe treatment.  Medicine is always revamping advice and of course, learns from failures - like everything in life.  Up to date Maine information is available on this website-

TICKS:  yes we have other health-related concerns.  Pownal is an outdoorsy community with lots of fields and woods.  I leave you with two Consumer Report sites to get information about effective repellent and yard controls.  Lyme Disease is a potential and knows has age limits.  Everyone should check their body (under clothes, scalp, etc) if not every time they come in from being outside(advised) but at least every evening at bedtime. “

  • Diane Epstein, MSN, FNP

UPDATE: 4/30/20

Allergy symptoms/COVID-19 symptoms:
Allergy season has started for some of us and is approaching for others.  Allergies could be anxiety-provoking at this time, as the symptoms can be similar to what we have heard as initial COVID-19 symptoms.   
Most people who have allergies will recognize their symptoms (they are familiar with them) as they occur every year at about the same time.  While most people with seasonal allergies have had symptoms for years, anyone can develop allergies at any time.
Allergy symptoms can include:
Nasal congestion/stuffiness-often with sneezing and clear nasal discharge (nose is "running")
Red/itchy/watery eyes
Scratchy or mildly sore throat, often with post nasal drip
Coughing to clear the throat of postnasal drip
Allergic asthma would include wheezing and difficulty breathing
There is generally NO fever or achiness but many people feel fatigued.
As mentioned above, they generally occur at the same time every year and over the counter antihistamines (daily pills or nasal sprays) help relieve the symptoms.
To review:  COVID -19 symptoms may be none or minor and may include:
Dry cough
Fatigue and lethargy - you just can't get going
Shortness of breath can occur as late as the second week of infection
Sometimes there is nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and decreased sense of smell.
The advice to call your doctor if you have symptoms that you are concerned about still stands.  You may be referred for testing,  asked to come in to be seen or you may be told to treat your symptoms at home (Tylenol to lower fever, hydration, rest, etc).  The advice you get may depend on whether you have had known exposure to someone with a positive COVID-19 test
As we all know, social distancing has gone on longer than many of us may have expected.  It is hard to cope with in many ways, especially for those homeschooling their kids, but no matter what side of the argument you are on (do we really have to be this careful???? vs avoiding the virus at all costs), the statistics do show that the number of new cases documented is decreasing with social distancing.  I still use my "what would I regret more" question - what would I regret more, continued social isolation and doing all I can to avoid the virus or getting back to life outside the home too early and putting myself and my family at risk.   
The financial health of families and the country is important, as is our mental and physical health.  The country and the world have many smart people from many disciplines (public health, medicine, pharmacology, immunology, etc) trying to get a handle on this virus.  There is still so much that we do not know.    The analogy that we are "learning to fly the plane while we are flying the plane" is apt.  Patience with this process is difficult as we are so ready to get back to our former lives, but our knowledge will come from our experience.
We have to do this battle together and it is refreshing for all of us to see that for the most part, this experience is bringing out the best in people.  
Stay well
Diane Epstein, MSN, FNP



Main Symptoms of the Covid-19 Virus

            Fever(it may range from slightly elevated to the 103 range)


            Shortness of Breath

                        Minor symptoms may include sore throat, achiness, fatigue.


Call your doctor if you develop symptoms AND have been in close contact with a person known to have Covid-19.

Your doctor will tell you if you need a Covid-19 test and where to get it.

You may not have Covid-19, you may have the flu or other respiratory illness. It is a good idea not to take any over the counter medicines (Tylenol (acetaminophen), Advil/Motrin (ibuprofen), or other Flu Medicines until you get medical advice. If you have Covid-19 you will get advice on how to treat the symptoms. There is no anti-viral medicine that “cures” this virus. The symptoms are treated until the virus runs its course.

If the doctor’s office gives you an appointment because you are sick but you don’t know if you have Covid-19, wear a facemask before you enter the office. If you don’t have one, there will be a box of masks somewhere near the entering door. Put one on immediately.

If you have Covid-19, you will be instructed on how you and/or your family should isolate yourselves from others in order to prevent the spread.


Cover your coughs and sneezes - cover your mouth with a tissue or cough/sneeze into your elbow.

Clean your hands often - use hand sanitizer or soap and water wash for 20 seconds (remember that grocery carts and gas station pumps are “high touch” areas. If you don’t have hand sanitizer in the car, wash you hands as soon as possible).

Avoid touching your face.

Avoid sharing personal household items like dishes, drinking glasses, towels, bedding.

Clean “high touch” surfaces (remote control, phone, counters, table tops, door knobs. steering wheel of car, car keys, car door etc).

Maintain your personal space to about 6 feet. For the most part you should not be around other people. We are being asked to STAY HOME for the most part. The guidelines ask that you only go out for necessities like groceries, medications, dog/pet needs. Things like haircuts and new spring outfits are not a necessity. Try to grocery shop for a week at a time, not daily. Every exposure is a potential contact to either pass on the virus if you have it or get if you don’t.

About going outside. As stated above, you will need to go to the grocery store, or the pharmacy, or get gas for your car, etc. Getting out of your house and getting fresh air, sunshine and exercise is important. However, meeting friends outside socially or going places where there are more people (think playground, busy parks, etc) is NOT a good idea. A cough or sneeze is aerosolized droplets that don’t instantly disappear. They can be inhaled or land on a slide. Social distancing is helpful but for now, the stay home and away from people is the advice to stay well and to keep others safe.

Recipe for homemade hand sanitizer:

What you will need:

3/4 cup of isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99 %)

1/4 cup of aloe vera gel- you can buy this or get it from a home plant.  It is to help keep your hands smooth and to counteract the harshness of alcohol.

10 drops of essential oil such as lavender oil or you can use lemon juice. 


Pour all ingredients into a bowl, ideally one with a pouring spout like a glass measuring container.

Mix with a spoon and then beat with a whisk to turn the sanitizer into a gel.

Pour the ingredients into an empty bottle for easy use, and label it "hand sanitizer".


Diane Epstein MSN, FNP & Eric Romanowsky MD

Town of Pownal Local Health Officers