May 20, 2020

In This Issue
Maine CDC Eliminates COVID Testing Prioritization Upon Agreement With IDEXX
MMA Seeking Physicians to Provide Peer Reviews
JAMA Study Shows No Benefit from Hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19
Paycheck Protection Program Forgiveness Application Released
Attestation Deadline for Receipt of Federal Provider Relief Fund Payments & Opportunity for Relief
AMA Cautions Physicians, Public About Limitations of Antibody Testing for SARS‑CoV‑2
Cleaning and Disinfection of Environmental Surfaces in the Context of COVID-19
MMA Mary Cushman Award for Humanitarian Service
Maine CDC Public Health Advisory: 2020 Lyme and Other Tickborne Disease Information
A Message from Maine Responds
The 2020 Census Is Happening Now
Opportunities to Support Physician Candidates for the 130th Maine Legislature
Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
May 28 Webinar: Medicare COVID-19 Related Billing, Coverage and Payment Information
Presentation Development and Design Live Webinar - June 19
Successful Opiate Recovery Strategies - New Date November 14
Maine Suicide Prevention Program Training for Clinicians
Family Medicine Outpatient Physician
Physician - Nasson Health Care
Nurse Practitioner - Nasson Health Care
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner - Nasson Health Care
Orthopedic Surgeon Opportunity in Beautiful New England
Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians
Volunteer Opportunity with Partners for World Health - Portland, ME

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Maine CDC Eliminates COVID Testing Prioritization Upon Agreement With IDEXX

The Maine CDC announced on Monday they have broadened the criteria for who can be tested as they ramp up their test-processing capacity. They now urge physicians not to be hesitant in sending samples due to previous state resource limitations.

An important note is that officials are still asking congregate, and group settings to still reach out to one of the senior epidemiologists at CDC (i.e., Medical: Drs. Sirii Bennett and Stephen Sears & for Infectious Disease Epidemiology: Ann Farmer and Sara Robinson) if a large batch of samples will be sent. The prioritization tiers mostly affect individual cases.

The welcomed change is due to the new availability of an independent supply of reagents from IDEXX. According to Maine CDC, it places Maine in a much better position relative to other states regarding the overall supply chain and availability of testing.

Maine health care providers should use their clinical judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested. For added help, a Maine Health Alert Network message was sent earlier this week which included Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Guidelines on the Diagnosis of COVID-19. IDS A guidelines. They arguably represent the best evidence-based diagnostic guideline to assists clinicians, clinical laboratorians, patients, and policymakers in decisions related to the optimal use of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid amplification tests. They are summarized but extensive.

The process for submitting and receiving results will not change and will continue to be compatible with your existing workflow. Testing forms and information on acceptable swabs and transport media can be found here.

While the large health systems will play a critical role in large scale testing, we are in the process of finding out how private practitioners will have access to needed testing supplies. There are many primary care physicians who are not part of a hospital system. It is critical that widespread access to critical diagnostic testing services, including practice level viral transport media is available to meet both current needs and future needs for any potential surge in cases coinciding with the next influenza season.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Director of Communications and Government Affairs, Dan Morin at dmorin@mainemed.com or (207) 838-8613 for more information or to pass along any difficulties in acquiring supplies for samples at the ground level.

If you would like to receive future important Maine Health Alert Network (MaineHAN) messages by email. Please sign up here. MaineHAN is a secure, web-based communication system used by the Maine CDC to exchange vital information with physicians, nurses, hospital staff, clinicians, public health workers, emergency preparedness and management personnel, first responders, and many others.


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