Starting in early September, Bangor Savings Bank says it will require new hires to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

All employees will also be required to wear masks in counties with high transmission rates, and customers are encouraged to follow suit. Under the new safety regime, unvaccinated current employees will be required to take weekly COVID-19 tests.

“Bangor Savings Bank continues to take the necessary steps to keep our employees, their families, and our neighbors safe during the pandemic,” spokesperson Isla Dickerson said Saturday of the new precautions, citing the “alarming rate” at which COVID-19 again is spreading.

Maine has seen a resurgence of cases as the delta variant spreads here and across the country, particularly among the unvaccinated. The statewide seven-day average of new daily cases rose to 120.4 on Saturday, far above averages seen earlier this summer.

As of Friday, Waldo County was categorized as having a “high” transmission rate, and in five others – Aroostook, Cumberland, Lincoln, Penobscot and Piscataquis – transmission was “substantial.” At those rates of COVID-19 infection, health officials recommend that even fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors.

Bangor Savings Bank employees are working in person at branches and business offices, and the company signaled that a return to remote work was not its first priority, for now.

“We know that we are a better, stronger organization when together,” Dickerson said, adding that since the return to in-person work the company has seen “a significant improvement in morale, teamwork and collaboration.”

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