COVID-19 Precautions

"Update from RMHC Maine: COVID-19"

Few could imagine the disruption that would come from COVID-19. Our community, and communities globally, have been impacted in more ways than can be counted. Thank you for your support during this unprecedented time as we adapt, persevere, and together, overcome!

Here at the RMHC Maine, our priority will always be the health and welfare of our families, along with volunteers, stakeholders, and community members. In accordance with federal, state and local guidelines, and with support from RMHC Global, we are welcoming families into both our Bangor and Portland House programs. Services and number of families will be introduced and expanded in a phased approach. Full details on each of the four phases will be announced as we move into them. Please follow the below updates for details on each phase.

At this time, our Volunteer program and Guest Chef program will continue to remain on hold. However, a plan is in place to slowly incorporate these important programs back into the Houses during a later phase. All in-person donations must be scheduled prior to drop off by calling the Ronald McDonald House nearest you.

May 1, 2023

We are so excited to announce that in conjunction with the updated policy from Maine Medical Center and Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, all our programs will phase into mask-optional spaces. We will also be dropping the requirement that all staff and volunteers be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

The needs of families and their venerable children will always be our first and most important priority. We will continue to follow the guidelines published by our healthcare partners. 

Sept. 29, 2020 – Phase 3

On September 29, we will enter Phase 3 of our reopening. Here is an overview of this phase:

  • We are approved to increase our capacity to 75%, however will continue to slowly increase the number of families we can accommodate based on our staff and volunteer comfort level and ability to maintain a clean, safe environment. Guest visitors are still restricted until a later phase.
  • We will begin a slow reintroduction of limited shift volunteers. The Guest Chef program will remain suspended through this phase.
  • All other aspects of the previous phases are still in effect.

Provided we feel comfortable and prepared with no events during this 28-day period, we will move forward into Phase 4 reopening. We will maintain our high standard of cleaning and disinfecting, and will remain vigilant in our COVID-19 policies and procedures established to ensure the safety and well-being of all who enter our Houses. 

Sept. 15, 2020 – Phase 2

On September 15, we will enter Phase 2 of our reopening. Here is an overview of this phase:

  • We will increase our occupancy capacity, still limiting the number of families at a time. Guest visitors are still restricted until a later phase.
  • All other aspects of the previous phases are still in effect.

After a 14-day period, with no incidents, we will move forward into Phase 3 reopening ensuring we can continue to maintain a safe and clean environment for all our families, staff, and volunteers. 

Aug. 17, 2020 – Phase 1

We are pleased to announce that we will begin to re-open our doors to new families with a careful and considerate plan in place in accordance with local health authority guidelines and with the support of RMHC Global. Though many of our policies and procedures have changed to ensure our community remains healthy, our purpose remains the same: to serve families affected by their child’s illness.

Families will return to the Houses in a phased approach, with a robust set of procedures designed to protect families, volunteers, and staff to the greatest extent possible. This includes heightened cleaning and disinfection protocols, social distancing measures, wellness checks, and use of personal protective equipment.

On August 18, we will enter Phase 1 of our reopening. Here is an overview of this phase:

  • We will admit a limited number of families at a time. Guest visitors will return at a later phase.
  • All guest rooms have been outfitted with mini-refrigerators.
  • Meals are being individually boxed and served to-go style for families to enjoy in their rooms, until our volunteer Guest Chef resumes during a later phase.
  • Common spaces will be closed until a later phase.
  • Masks will be worn at all times while in our Houses, except when families are in their own guest rooms. Stations with disposable masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes have been set up throughout the Houses.

If all goes smoothly, after a 14-day period, we will work closely with our hospital partners to safely move forward into Phase 2 reopening to ensure we can successfully continue admitting new families to ensure the effectiveness in providing safe accommodations.

Though we look forward to getting back to what we do best, the road ahead remains uncertain. We thank you for your outpouring of support during these challenging times. Please know your support is needed now more than ever as we adapt program operations and fundraising initiatives. 

June 15, 2020

As we continue through these unprecedented times, we remain focused on the health and safety of our community. In accordance with federal, state and local guidelines, and with support from RMHC® Global, we are preparing a four-phase plan to safely and cautiously reinstate each of our core programs. There are many factors to be considered in this process. We will continue to consult with medical experts and other trusted leaders as we determine our path forward.


  • As of June 1, we are pleased to be slowly and carefully welcoming volunteers back into the Houses.
  • We are still restricting all group volunteer activities until further notice, including our Guest Chef program.

In-Person Donations

  • We are now accepting in-person donations, however all donations must be scheduled prior to drop-off. No unscheduled donations will be accepted.
  • You can schedule your drop-off by calling the Ronald McDonald House nearest you. Click here to learn more.

We wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to all the wonderful businesses and individuals who have shown their support through these challenging times. Though the road ahead remains uncertain, we are grateful to have you along for the ride. As we move forward, we must keep learning, evaluating, and adapting as this situation evolves, always acting in the best interests of the children and families we serve.

March 20, 2020

Through these ever-changing times, we are continually assessing and evolving our policies to best protect our families, volunteers, and staff. To continue to keep the children and families as safe and healthy as possible, we find we have to make a difficult decision.

Effective immediately, we will not be accepting new families until further notice. During this timeframe, we will be periodically re-assessing the situation to determine our next steps. Guest families currently staying at the House may remain as long as we are able to safely sustain and manage operations. All previously stated policies remain in place for the time being.

We’d like to send our appreciation to the families, volunteers, and staff who are remaining poised, flexible, and collaborative through this unprecedented time. We are in this together.

March 13, 2020

We are taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our families, volunteers, and staff. Effective March 13, ALL group volunteer activities, including our Guest Chef program, have been suspended. Additionally, we will not be accepting in-person donations or allowing visitors.

Read a message from Executive Director, Robin Chibroski.


  • All group volunteer activities have been suspended, including our Guest Chef program. At this time, we encourage our community to financially support a meal in lieu of cooking for our families. Prepared meals and in-person donations of groceries are currently not accepted.


  • Visitors are not permitted to enter the House.
  • Our Day Use program is suspended until further notice.[/tab]

Together we can still provide families with the comfort and hope they need!

As our Houses operate without the support of many of our volunteers and meal donors, and as we face a decline in fundraising revenue, now is a crucial time to give back to the mission of RMHC Maine. Our ability to serve families through this time is made possible by our community. Because of your generosity, we’re able to continue delivering on our mission and our families are better for it.

Here are some ways you can help:

  1. Make a donation. This allows us the flexibility to support our families in the ways they need it most.
  2. Support a meal. We are still committed to serving our families healthy, warm meals during this time. Without volunteers to donate and prepare home cooked meals, we ask for grocery store gift cards, local restaurant gift certificates, or a catered meal. To learn more about coordinating a catered meal or donating to cover the cost of a meal, please contact:
  3. Shop from our Amazon wishlists. (Bangor or Portland) To send supplies directly to our Houses and help us stock key items for our families.

Through this time, our heart remains where it always has: with the families who rely on us to provide comfort during their most stressful times. Many lives have been turned upside-down, but we are in this together. Alongside our community, we will begin to pick up the pieces and adjust to our new normal.

On behalf of all of us at RMHC Maine, stay kind and be well.