|May 20, 2020
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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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