Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 06/10/2020  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  Maine Medical Association Statement on Systemic Racism
•  TED Talk: The Link Between Climate Change, Health and Poverty by Cheryl Holder
•  Nearly $1 Million in Federal Funds Will Help Maine People Cope with Psychological Impacts of COVID-19
•  State Announces New Pandemic Testing Agreement & Keep Maine Health Program
•  Provider Relief Fund update
•  Updated CDC Serology Testing Guidelines Follow AMA's Recommendations
•  CMS Information & NGS Webinars
•  Hanley Intern Joins Maine Medical Association
•  AMA Makes Recommendations to CMS on Rural Maternal Health Care
•  MMA Seeking Physicians to Provide Peer Reviews
•  MMA Mary Cushman Award for Humanitarian Service
•  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
•  Presentation Development and Design Live Webinar - June 19
•  Successful Opiate Recovery Strategies - New Date November 14
•  Maine Suicide Prevention Program Training Opportunities
•  MaineCare Medical Director Opportunity
•  Physician MD/DO - Islands Community Medical Services, Inc. - Vinalhaven, Maine
•  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


State Announces New Pandemic Testing Agreement & Keep Maine Health Program

Governor Mills this week outlined the new agreement with IDEXX and the increased in test processing capacity, expanded testing sample sites and broadening the testing population.


Governor Mills this week outlined the new agreement with IDEXX and the increased in test processing capacity, expanded testing sample sites and broadening the testing population. The media release was sent to you earlier today but here’s the summary:

  • Quadruple COVID-19 testing capacity at the State lab (expected in July)
    • new mobile laboratory to be stationed at the State's Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory (HETL) in Augusta
    • additional 25,000 tests a week
    • purchasing at least 350,000 additional test kits
  • Develop more testing sites throughout Maine (expected in July)
    • 20 additional "swab and send" locations ‘complement the roughly 40 current testing sites available to the public’ across Maine to ensure that 90 percent of residents can get tested within 30 minutes of their home
    • This week, DHHS will formally invite applications for federal grant funding to support the establishment of these specimen collection sites and testing of their samples. The MMA will pass along information and application availability ASAP
    • For those interested in current testing sites, there is a national testing site locator website,
  • The state has developed a ‘standing order’ allowing individuals at elevated risk to get tested without an order from a health care provider
    • Includes health care workers and first responders, seasonal and migrant farm workers, people experiencing homelessness, visitors from other states with a higher prevalence of the virus, and employees of congregate living facilities such as nursing homes, lodging establishments, grocery stores and other businesses who have direct, daily contact with the publiic.

The Governor also announced a “Keep Maine Healthy” Plan The plan is an alternative to the currently in place 14-day quarantine directive for out-of-state visitors

  • Adults with a negative test within 72 hours of visiting Maine can forgo a quarantine order.
  • Visitors will be able to certify a recent negative C19 test to stay at lodging facilities. Those facilities will ask visitors to sign a “certificate of compliance” that they are negative, or they will agree to quarantine. Starts July 1 under the current Maine reopening plan that allows lodging facilities to serve those outside of Maine. The process is like plans unveiled in NH and VT. While they will not be required to provide documentation, they may be asked for proof depending on specific circumstances
  • NH & VT residents, however, are exempt from the new requirements. And for them, this policy takes effect immediately. They can come with no restrictions. Also, as of Friday June 12, they can stay at Maine lodging facilities. However, NY/MA/NJ residents will need to comply. Half of Maine visitors come from those states and their positivity rates are 8-11x higher than Maine’s
  • As a fallback, visitors could be tested after coming to Maine but will need to quarantine while awaiting results. “Know before you go.”
  • The state is collaborating with our community college system health professional education programs to establish “symptom check locations” in high traffic tourist areas.
  • The state will further disseminate best practices and public education for COVID-19.
  • The state is also planning to establish local (city/town) public health and prevention resources with financial incentives through $13 million in state grants through a federal funding source.
    • It is intended for municipalities for additional mitigation and education efforts, including  signs, prevention measure materials such as distancing signs, funds to hire staff to limit crowds, traffic signage, PPE and hand sanitizer for use, cleaning supplies and additional staff time. Funds will also be available for designating city/town point persons as local contact points to assist businesses on best practices and resource availability.

                       Important note: Governor Mills stated public health officials will continue to look at case trends, hospital trends, state reports of increased C19-like symptoms, health system capacity, etc… If a review of those measures in totality and context show a concerning increase, policies could change and current reopening guidelines could be amended or rolled back.