COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

Information is current as of 8/12/2022 and is subject to change.

View a downloadable version of the Frequently Asked Questions (PDF).

Text highlighted in yellow indicates most recently updated information.


Situation in Maine

What happens when a case of COVID-19 is identified in Maine? (Updated 2/24/2022)

  • When Maine CDC is notified of a positive result, a case investigator may reach out to the patient to investigate. The investigator asks basic questions about symptoms and when they started and possible exposures.  

Where are tests for people from out of state reported? (Updated 3/31/2020)

  • Out-of-state travelers who test positive in Maine are reported to the state of their primary residence.  This is to ensure an accurate national tally of COVID-19 cases under guidance from US CDC.
  • Patients may continue to receive treatment in the state where they are tested.

I would like to volunteer to help with the COVID-19 response. How can I do this? (Updated 3/4/2021)

  • Please visit www.maineresponds.org to register as a volunteer to provide services during a disaster or emergency situation.

Where can I find information on COVID-19 vaccination in Maine? (Updated 12/10/2021)

  • Please visit the COVID-19 Vaccine page for more information on COVID-19 vaccination in Maine.
  • Call 1-855-608-5172 if you need help getting a ride to your vaccine appointment. Reserve your ride at least 48 hours in advance of your appointment.
  • Find a  COVID-19 vaccine site here and here.

I am fully vaccinated but lost my vaccination card. How can I get a replacement? (Updated 12/10/2021)

  • First, you should contact the location where you received your vaccine to find out if they can issue a replacement card.
  • If the vaccination site cannot do this or no longer exists, contact the Maine Immunization Program.  Maine Immunization Program does not issue replacement COVID-19 vaccination cards but can provide a copy of your immunization record.
    • Fill out this Vaccination Record Request Form.
    • If you do not have access to the internet, call 1-800-821-5821 and follow the prompts for the Maine Immunization Program.

Where can I find updated K-12 school guidance for Maine? (Updated 8/12/2022)

 

  • Find updated K-12 school guidance here.
  • Find Maine Department of Education's COVID-19 toolkit here.
  • For questions about requirements and response in individual schools, please contact the administration at the particular school in question.

Where can I find informaton on vaccination requirements for healthcare workers in Maine? (Updated 1/24/2021)

  • Please visit this FAQ page for complete information on the Healthcare Worker Vaccination Rule.
  • Find the final "Immunization Requirements for Healthcare Workers" here.
  • See your healthcare provider for more information on medical exemptions. Read more about the Maine Vaccine Exemption Law Change here.

Where can I find information on accessing COVID-19 treatment (Paxlovid, monoclonal antibody, etc.) in Maine? (Updated 5/18/2022)

  • Visit www.maine.gov/covid19/treatment for information on how and where to get treated for COVID-19.
  • If you are not currently infected with COVID-19, talk to your healthcare provider to find out whether you should get treatment if you get COVID-19 in the future. Have a plan for how to get tested quickly and where you can access COVID-19 treatment.

About COVID-19


What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and when do they appear? (Updated 12/16/2020)

Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these emergency warning signs for COVID-19:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips, face, or unpigmented skin (gums, around the eyes, nail beds)

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

Can a person spread the COVID-19 virus even if they have no symptoms? (Updated 9/17/2021)

  • It is possible that people infected with COVID-19 may be infectious before showing symptoms.  They can also be infectious and not show any symptoms (asymptomatic spread).

How long can someone test positive for COVID-19 after being released from isolation? (Updated 8/12/2022)

What is the medical treatment for people affected by COVID-19? (Updated 3/15/2022)

  • Find information about COVID-19 treatment options in Maine here.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about what treatment options may be right for you.

Can the COVID-19 virus be spread from contaminated surfaces? (Updated 1/24/2022)

  • The COVID-19 virus can be acquired from contaminated surfaces, but this is not the primary way the virus spreads.
    • The virus spread when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that have the virus in them.  A person can become infected by:
      • Breathing in air when close to an infected person who is exhaling small droplets and particles that contain the virus.
      • Having small droplets and particles with the virus land on the eyes, nose, or mouth, especially through sneezes or coughs.
      • Touching the eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have virus on them, such as from a cough, sneeze or contaminated surface.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.  Wash your hands frequently.
  • Most often, spread of the virus happens person-to-person through respiratory droplets.  Practice general prevention measures.

COVID-19 Variants

Where can I find information about COVID-19 variants in the United States and Maine? (Updated 12/1/2021)

  • Find information on COVID-19 variants found in Maine here.
  • Find information on COVID-19 variants in the United States here.

How is the Omicron variant different from other COVID-19 variants? (Updated 7/18/2022)

  • The Omicron variant has a "large number of mutations, some of which are concerning" according to the World Health Organization.
  • The Omicron variant has many mutations of the spike protein.  This is the part of the virus that allows it to enter human cells and reproduce.
  • Learn more about the Omicron variant here.

What Omicron subvariants have been found in Maine? (Updated 7/18/2022)

What steps can I take to keep myself and my family members safe from COVID variants during holiday gatherings, travel, and other times? (Updated 2/24/2022)

  • The recommended precautions have not changed.
  • The best thing you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones is to get vaccinated and stay up to date.
  • Wear face coverings in public indoor places. When possible, open windows to promote air flow. Gather outdoors when possible. Stay home and avoid others if you feel sick.

How can I find out what variant I have? (Updated 1/24/2022)

  • Maine CDC is not able tell you what COVID-19 variant you may have.
  • Work with your healthcare provider or testing location to see if this is a service they can provide.
  • In most cases, COVID-19 recommendations do not change based on variant type.  Treatment options for COVID-19 available in Maine are all effective against the Omicron variant.  Work with your healthcare provider to decide what treatment may be right for you.

Prevention and Vaccines

How does wearing a face covering prevent the spread of COVID-19? (Updated 1/24/2022)

  • COVID- most commonly spreads between people through respiratory droplets or small particles like aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes.
  • Because it helps contain respiratory droplets, wearing a face covering has been proven to be one of the most significant, effective, and easiest ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • See US CDC's Guide to Masks for more information.
  • You can also learn more about the types of masks and respirators and ways to improve how your mask protects you.

Do I need to wear a face covering indoors? (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • Individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 or were exposed to someone with COVID-19 should wear a face covering when around other people for 10 days.
  • US CDC recommends that individuals wear face masks in indoor public settings and practice other prevention strategies depending on the COVID-19 Community Level in the county and individual risk for severe disease.

What does it mean to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19? (Updated 3/1/2021)

  • You are considered fully vaccinated after at least 14 days following the completion of your COVID-19 vaccination series.
  • US CDC recommends staying up to date on all recommended COVID-19 booster vaccines.

I am not fully vaccinated. Do I need to wear a face covering? (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • Individuals who were exposed to someone with COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19 should wear a face covering when around other people for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status.
  • US CDC recommends that individuals wear face masks in indoor public settings and practice other prevention strategies depending on the COVID-19 Community Level in the county and individual risk for severe disease.

I am fully vaccinated. Do I need to wear a face covering? (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • Individuals who were exposed to someone with COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19 should wear a face covering when around other people for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status.
  • US CDC recommends that individuals wear face masks in indoor public settings and practice other prevention strategies depending on the COVID-19 Community Level in the county and individual risk for severe disease.

When can I get a COVID-19 booster shot? (Updated 1/6/2022)

  • Please visit US CDC's "Stay Up to Date with Your Vaccines" to find out if and when a COVID-19 booster is right for you or your child. This is based on your age, the type of vaccine you received for your primary COVID-19 vaccination series, and how long it has been since your last COVID-19 vaccine.
  • If you are immunocompromised, an additional COVID vaccine dose may be recommended for you.  Talk to a healthcare provider to find out if this is right for you.
  • Booster vaccines are widely available across the state at doctor's offices, pharmacies, and hospital clinics. Find a vaccination site here.

When am I considered "fully boosted"? (Updated 1/28/2022)

  • You are considered "boosted" as soon as you receive your COVID-19 booster shot. You do not have to wait 14 days to be considered "boosted.""

Where can I get my child vaccinated? (Updated 7/18/2022)

  • Visit this page to find out when your child may receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Contact your child’s healthcare provider or your local pharmacy to ask about availability of vaccine for your child. You can also find vaccine sites in Maine offering vaccine here.
  • You can find more answers about pediatric COVID-19 vaccine here.

Can businesses, schools, or organizations require face coverings? (Updated 3/1/2022)

  • Yes. Businesses and other organizations may adopt policies for their employees or clients that require wearing a face covering, require vaccination, or require proof of vaccination to avoid wearing a face covering.
  • US CDC recommends that individuals wear face masks in indoor public settings and practice other prevention strategies depending on the COVID-19 Community Level in the county and individual risk for severe disease.

Can businesses, schools, or organizations require employees or visitors to be vaccinated against COVID-19? (Updated 9/17/2021)

  • Yes, businesses and other organizations may adopt policies for their employees or clients that require vaccination, require wearing a face covering, or require proof of vaccination to avoid wearing a face covering.

Where can I report a business that is not enforcing COVID-19 prevention recommendations? (12/10/2021)

  • If you have a complaint about how a business is handling COVID-19 prevention recommendations, contact the management of the business to discuss your concerns.
  • If you believe the situation poses a public health risk, contact your local health officer.

Where can I find US CDC's county COVID-19 data? (Updated 7/28/2021)

  • Find US CDC's COVID-19 data tracker here.

Where can I find US CDC's COVID-19 Community Levels information? (3/1/2022)

  • Find US CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels here.
  • US CDC recommends that individuals wear face masks in indoor public settings and practice other prevention strategies depending on the COVID-19 Community Level in the county and individual risk for severe disease.

Are there any cleaning recommendations to prevent COVID-19? (Updated 7/7/2020)

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, cabinet handles, etc.) daily using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Find cleaning recommendations for facilities with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 cases here.

Testing

Where can I find a COVID-19 test in Maine? (Updated 9/17/2021)

  • Visit www.maine.gov/covid19/testing to find information on testing sites in Maine.
    • This is not an all-inclusive list.  Other healthcare facilities in Maine may offer testing.  Maine CDC recommends that you call ahead to learn about test availability before visiting one of these sites.
  • Maine CDC cannot guarantee test type or appointment availability at these sites. Please call ahead to ask questions about appointment availability, test type, and timing of results.

Will I be charged for a COVID-19 test? (Updated 7/18/2021)

  • You may be charged for a test, depending on the testing location that you visit.
    • Sites funded by the State of Maine will not charge the patient or bill insurance for a test. Find more information here.  
    • Other sites, including commercial pharmacies, independent healthcare providers, urgent cares, walk-in clinics, or hospitals may charge or bill insurance for COVID-19 testing.
  • If unsure, call the facility before testing to understand if they will charge for testing.  

Do I need a doctor's order to get a COVID-19 test? (Updated 9/17/2021)

  • Individuals do not need a doctor's order to be tested at a Swab and Send site or commercial pharmacy supported by the State of Maine (find information here).
  • Other types of testing sites may require a doctor's order or for the individual to be symptomatic in order to test.
  • Due to high testing demand, some sites may not provide testing for travel clearance.
  • Call the testing site prior to scheduling or arrival for testing to find out if an order is needed.

I was tested for COVID-19. How long will my results take? How can I find results? (Updated 3/24/2020)

  • Contact the healthcare provider that tested you for a timeframe and for results.
  • Maine CDC does not provide test results to individuals.

What should I know about at-home COVID-19 testing? (Updated 1/6/2022)

  • Find updated guidance for at-home, self-collected tests for COVID-19 here (PDF).

Do I need to report my at-home, self-collected COVID-19 test result to Maine CDC? (Updated 1/24/2022)

  • No, you do not need to call Maine CDC to report your positive test result. Maine CDC does not collect results from at-home, self-collection tests.
  • If you have questions about what you should do after a positive test, call your healthcare provider or Maine 211.

If you are exposed to COVID-19

What should I do if I am exposed to someone with COVID-19? (Not a healthcare worker) (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • If you were exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19:
    • Wear a high-quality face mask when around others at home and indoors in public for 10 days. During this time, monitor yourself for symptoms. Regardless of vaccination status, you do not need to quarantine.
    • Get tested on day 6. If you test negative, continue monitoring for symptoms and masking through day 10. If you test positive, isolate immediately. Find more information here.
      • If you have previously tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, please find specific guidance for post-exposure testing here.

Do I need to quarantine? (healthcare worker) (Updated 1/6/2022)

  • This guidance is for people who are healthcare workers.
  • As a healthcare worker, you may or may not be required to quarantine from work after a COVID-19 exposure. This depends on your vaccination and booster status, the type of your exposure, and the staffing situation at your workplace.
    • Work with your employer or workplace contact (occupational health, etc.) to determine their requirements for quarantine based on this guidance.
  • Generally, healthcare workers who have been exposed to COVID-19 and are asymptomatic do not need to quarantine as long as they are fully vaccinated and have received all CDC-recommended boosters. Check with you employer to understand their requirements.
  • If you have to quarantine, you should:
    • Stay home. You cannot go out in public (for example to work, the grocery store, banks, gas stations, beaches, or parks).
      • You can leave quarantine for emergency or necessary medical care.  If you are symptomatic, please call ahead.
      • You may leave your house for outdoor exercise activities, such as swimming or hiking, provided that you abide by physical distancing guidelines and avoid contact with other people.
    • Avoid contact with people in your household as much as possible.  
      • Your household members can continue to leave the house if they are not also in quarantine.
    • Wear a well-fitting face covering when around other people at home as much as possible. 
  • Work with your employer or workplace contact (occupational health, etc.) to determine when and how frequently you should get tested, based on this guidance.
  • If the employee develops symptoms of COVID-19, they should contact their employer immediately. 

Do I need to quarantine if I live with a COVID-positive person? (Not a healthcare worker) (Updated 8/12/2022)

    • No. Regardless of vaccination status, you do not need to quarantine if you live with a COVID-positive person. You should avoid contact with the positive person if possible, and wear a high-quality face mask when around others at home and indoors in public for 10 days. Following the testing guidance outlined here.

How long should I quarantine if I live with a COVID-positive person? (Healthcare workers) (Updated 1/28/2022)

What if I cannot wear a well-fitted facemask and am exposed to COVID-19? (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • If you are unable to wear a well-fitted facemask and have been exposed to COVID-19, other prevention actions (such as improving ventilation) should be used to avoid transmission during these 10 days. You should also monitor yourself for symptoms during these 10 days.
  • Get tested on day 6. If you test negative, continue monitoring for symptoms through day 10. If you test positive, isolate immediately. Find more information here.
    • If you have previously tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, please find specific guidance for post-exposure testing here.

What should I do if I had contact with someone who was recently exposed to someone with COVID-19? (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • If you are a contact of someone who was recently exposed to a COVID-19 case, continue to practice everyday prevention measures as you normally would.

Isolation and Treatment (for people who have COVID-19)

What is isolation? (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • Isolation is used to separate people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 from those without COVID-19. If you are isolating, this means you should stay at home and stay away from others in your home as much as possible.

How do I know if I need to isolate? (Updated 1/6/2022)

  • You should isolate immediately if you have COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status. This includes:
    • If you test positive on a COVID-19 viral test (molecular or antigen, including at-home antigen tests)
    • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, including while you are waiting for test results.
  • The healthcare provider or testing site that collected your specimen should contact you to let you know the results of your test.  If you test positive, isolate immediately.
  • Maine CDC may contact you if you test positive to collect more information about your symptoms and exposure. You do not need to contact Maine CDC to report your own results.

I tested positive for COVID-19. Now what should I do? (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • Regardless of your vaccination status, as soon as you find out about your positive test result OR when you start experiencing symptoms (whichever is sooner), you should isolate.
  • Early treatment can be instrumental in preventing severe disease. Even if your symptoms are mild, talk with a healthcare provider or a “test and treat” facility to see if COVID-19 treatment may be right for you. Find more information here.
  • If you are a healthcare worker, work with your employer or workplace contact (occupational health, etc.) to determine when you can return to work using this guidance.
  • If you are not a healthcare worker, you should follow this guidance.
  • Notify people that you may have exposed to let them know about their possible exposure.  
  • Maine CDC may call you to gather information about your symptoms and exposures.  It is important that you answer this call.

What about COVID-19 treatment (Paxlovid, monoclonal antibody, etc.)? (Updated 5/18/2022)

  • Visit www.maine.gov/covid19/treatment for information on how and where to get treated for COVID-19.
  • Do not wait until you are very ill. COVID-19 treatment works best if started within the first 5-7 days after symptoms begin.
  • Treatment is only available for people with COVID-19 symptoms and a positive COVID-19 test, which can include an at-home test.

Do I need to isolate if I am fully vaccinated? (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • Yes, regardless of vaccination status, if you develop any symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive on any antigen or molecular COVID-19 test, you should isolate immediately.
  • If you are a healthcare worker, contact your employer or workplace contact (occupational health, etc.) to determine when you can leave isolation and return to work using this guidance.

How do I isolate? (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • Stay home and separate from others. As much as possible, stay in a specific “sick room” or area of the house and use a separate bathroom, if available.
  • If you must be around others in your home, wear a well-fitting face covering at all times when around others.
  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (like trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately. You can leave isolation for emergency medical care but should let them know that you have COVID-19, if possible.
  • Do not share personal household items, like cups, towels, or utensils.
  • Take steps to improve ventilation at home, if possible.

When can I leave isolation? (not a healthcare worker) (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • This guidance is for people who are not healthcare workers.  
  • If you had mild illness:
    • If you had no symptoms, you can leave isolation after day 5 (use the day that you first tested positive as day 0).
    • If you had symptoms, you can leave isolation after day 5 (use the day that you first developed symptoms as day 0) if:
      • You are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication), and
      • Your symptoms are improving.
      • If you still have a fever or your other symptoms have not improved, continue to isolate until they improve.
  • If you had moderate illness (shortness of breath or difficulty breathing):
    • You need to isolate for 10 days.
  • If you had severe illness, were hospitalized, or have a weakened immune system:
    • Consult with a healthcare provider to determine when you can end isolation.
  • If you are unsure whether your symptoms are moderate or severe or if you have a weakened immune system, talk to a healthcare provider for further guidance.
  • Loss of taste or smell may last for weeks or months after recovery. You do not need to delay the end of isolation if loss of taste or smell is your only lingering symptom.

When can I leave isolation? (healthcare worker) (Updated 12/29/2021)

  • This guidance is for people who are healthcare workers.
  • Work with your employer or workplace contact (occupational health, etc.) to determine when you can return to work if you tested positive for COVID-19 or are experiencing COVID-like symptoms.
    • Your employer will provide guidance based on your vaccination and booster status, staffing situation at your workplace, and this guidance from US CDC.

How long do I need to wear a mask after leaving isolation? (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • After you have ended isolation and when you are feeling better,
    • Wear your mask through day 10, or
    • With two sequential, negative at-home antigen tests 48 hours apart, you can remove your mask sooner than day 10.
      • If your antigen test results are positive, you may still be infectious. You should continue wearing a mask and wait at least 48 hours before taking another antigen test. Continue taking antigen tests at least 48 hours apart until you have two sequential negative results. This may mean you need to continue wearing a mask and testing beyond day 10.

Do I need to tell my contacts about their exposure to COVID-19? (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • Yes, you should notify those who you may have exposed.

Will Maine CDC contact me about my positive test result? (Updated 9/17/2021)

  • Due to an increase in case volume, Maine CDC has focused its efforts to follow up with COVID-19 cases on a smaller range of ages or those who meet certain criteria.  Depending on available resources and case levels, Maine CDC may follow up with other cases who do not meet these criteria.
  • As a result, Maine CDC may not contact you if you test positive.  It is very important that you notify people who you may have exposed.

Why have I not heard from Maine CDC about my positive test result? (Updated 9/17/2021)

  • Due to an increase in case volume, Maine CDC has focused its efforts to follow up with COVID-19 cases on a smaller range of ages or those who meet certain criteria.  Depending on available resources and case levels, Maine CDC may follow up with other cases who do not meet these criteria.
  • As a result, Maine CDC may not contact you if you test positive.  It is very important that you notify people who you may have exposed.

Why did I receive a text about a positive result? (Updated 12/29/2020)

  • People who test positive for COVID-19 and provide their telephone number to their testing site will receive a text message from Maine CDC letting them know about the positive result.
  • Individuals will also be directed to more information on what to do next.  

I received a text from Maine CDC about a positive result but have not tested recently. Why did this happen? (Updated 12/10/2021)

  • When Maine CDC receives a positive lab result, they send a text message to the phone number that is reported with the lab result.
    • Maine CDC does not have a way to verify that this number is correct.
  • Several family members may list the same contact phone number when getting a COVID-19 test. If you receive this text message, ask other family members if they had a recent COVID-19 test.
    • COVID-19 test results should come from the healthcare provider or facility that collected the COVID-19 sample.  

How do I know if the positive result text from Maine CDC is legitimate? (Updated 2/18/2022)

  • Messages from Maine CDC will come from the number 22300.
  • Messages will say “Maine CDC is aware of a positive COVID test result at this number. Isolate and notify people you may have exposed. Read more at maine.gov/dhhs/covid”

What should I do if I already had COVID-19 within 90 days and became symptomatic again? (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • An individual who develops new onset of symptoms consistent with COVID-19 during the 90-day period following the initial positive result should be retested using an antigen test and should isolate.
    • If the test comes back positive, they will need to isolate.
    • If the test comes back negative, they will need to isolate until 24 hours after symptoms resolve without fever-reducing medication.  They should also contact a healthcare provider to see if there are any other steps they should take.

I had COVID-19 and was in isolation. Can I get a release from isolation letter for my employer? (Updated 12/29/2021)

  • Maine CDC does not provide release from isolation letters.
  • You should work with your employer to determine when you meet criteria to leave isolation and safely return to work. If you are a healthcare worker, use this guidance with your employer.  If you are not a healthcare worker, use this guidance (PDF).

COVID-19 Information for Businesses, Schools, and Childcare Facilities

Where can I find information about the COVID-19 response in schools? (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • The Maine Department of Education has a COVID-19 toolkit available to share information about the COVID-19 response in schools.
  • Find updated K-12 school guidance here.

What is Maine CDC's masking guidance for schools? (Updated 3/3/2022)

  • Masking is optional in schools and childcare programs in Maine.
  • Individuals who would like to continue wearing a mask are encouraged to do so.

What do I need to do if one of my employees tests positive for COVID-19? (Not a healthcare worker) (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • The employee needs to immediately isolate at home, regardless of vaccination status.  If the employee is at work when notified of the positive result, please send them home immediately.
  • Gather the names of other employees who may have been exposed. While maintaining the confidentiality of the positive employee, notify the other employees of their exposure. 
  • Clean and disinfect the workplace around the employee’s workstation, including high-touch shared surfaces.
  • In most cases, closing the facility is not necessary, providing you can maintain staffing needs while employees isolate appropriately.
    • Make sure you have a policy in place to support employees who must isolate or care for sick family members.

What do I need to do if one of my employees tests positive for COVID-19? (healthcare worker) (Updated 12/29/2021)

  • Use this guidance to determine isolation guidance for your employee.
  • Gather the names of close contacts of the positive employee. While maintaining the confidentiality of the positive employee as much as possible, notify the close contacts of their exposure. 
  • Inform other employees who do not meet the definition of close contact of their potential exposure, while maintaining the confidentiality of the positive employee, and advise them to monitor for symptoms for 14 days.
  • Clean and disinfect the workplace around the employee's workstation, including high-touch shared surfaces.
  • In most cases, closing the facility is not necessary, providing you can maintain staffing needs while employees isolate or quarantine appropriately.
    • Make sure you have a policy in place to support employees who must isolate, quarantine, or care for sick family members.

If one of my employees tested positive for COVID-19, do I need to report it to Maine CDC? (Updated 9/17/2021)

  • The places and people required to report any reportable disease (PDF), including COVID-19, are health care providers, medical laboratories, health care facilities, childcare facilities, correctional facilities, educational institutions, administrators, health officers, veterinarians, and veterinary laboratories.
  • If you do not fall into one of the above categories, you are not required to report COVID-19 positive cases to Maine CDC.

If one of my employees tested positive for COVID-19, should I notify the rest of my employees? (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • Inform your employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19.  Employers should do contact tracing within their own facility and notify other employees of their exposure.
  • Employers must keep the identity of the individual who tested positive confidential.

Do I need to close my business if an employee is positive for COVID-19? (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • In most cases, closing your facility is not necessary, provided you can maintain staffing to operate safely while employees follow appropriate isolation guidance.

 

I run a childcare facility. What do I need to do if a staff member or child tests positive for COVID-19? (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • Any person who tests positive for COVID-19 should isolate immediately.  If the positive case is in your facility when they receive results, they should go home to isolate as soon as is safely possible.
  • Collect the names of children and staff who may have been exposed. While maintaining the confidentiality of the positive person, notify other employees of their exposure and parents of their child’s exposure. 
  • Clean and disinfect the facility, including high-touch shared surfaces.
  • Closing the facility is not necessary, providing you can maintain staffing needs for safe operation while staff isolate appropriately.
    • Make sure you have a policy in place to support staff who must isolate or care for sick family members.

I run a childcare facility. What do I need to do if a parent of a child tests positive for COVID-19? (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • If the child of the positive parent has been exposed, they should be monitored for symptoms and wear a mask while in the facility during the ongoing exposure and for 10 days following the date of last exposure.
    • If the child lives with the positive parent, they should be monitored for symptoms and tested every 5 days while exposure is ongoing, and again 5 full days after exposure ends (i.e. when the positive person leaves isolation).
    • If the child does not live with the positive parent, they should be tested 5 full days after the last exposure.
  • If the child of the positive parent is too young to mask or otherwise unable to mask, other prevention actions (such as improving ventilation) should be used to avoid transmission during this time.
  • Clean and disinfect the facility, including high-touch shared surfaces, especially places where the parent may have been in your facility, starting from 48 hours before their symptoms started or their positive test was collected if asymptomatic.

My employee is in isolation. Should I require a release letter to let them come back to work? (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • No. Maine CDC does not provide release from isolation letters.
  • You should work with your employee directly to determine when it is safe for them to return to work.

Should I require retesting or a negative test result for my employee to come back to work after they had COVID-19? (Updated 9/17/2021)

  • Maine CDC does not recommend retesting or requiring a negative test result for employees to return to work.
  • This is because a person who had COVID-19 may continue to test positive for the virus for up to 90 days without being infectious.

Daily Life and COVID-19

I need help with rent assistance/evictions due to COVID-19. Who can I contact? (Updated 12/21/2020)

I am in isolation and need help with groceries or other resources. How can I get help? (Updated 9/17/2021)

  • Fill out this referral form for assistance with groceries, medications, and other resources while in COVID-19 isolation.

How can I cope with stress or grief during the COVID-19 pandemic? (Updated 4/22/2020)

  • An outbreak of COVID-19 in your community may be very stressful. Maine CDC has information available (PDF) for individuals who may be stressed, need to connect with someone, or are in crisis.
  • A Frontline Warm Line is available for first responders, health care workers, those in law enforcement, and anyone else who is involved in the direct response to COVID-19. 
    • Call 207-221-8196 or 866-367-4440 to connect with someone for support services.
    • Volunteers staffing the Warm Line include licensed psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, social workers, and nurse practitioners.

Travel

Where can I find information about travel (domestic or international) if I have COVID-19 or have been exposed to COVID-19? (Updated 8/12/2022)

  • Find US CDC’s information and COVID-19 guidance for travel (domestic and international) here.

What are masking recommendations for travel? (Updated 5/4/2022)

  • US CDC recommends that everyone aged 2 and older properly wear a well-fitting mask or respirator in indoor areas of public transportation (such as airplanes, trains, buses, etc.) and transportation hubs (such as airports, train stations, bus stations, etc.). This is regardless of vaccination status.

What are Maine's policies for international travelers coming to Maine for non-healthcare workers? (Updated 5/4/2022)

  • See US CDC guidance for international travel for recommendations on what to do before, during, and after traveling, regardless of your vaccination status.
  • For individuals who arrive in Maine more than 5 days after travel, follow guidelines for domestic travelers arriving in Maine.

What are Maine's policies for domestic travel for healthcare workers? (Updated 1/6/2022)

What are Maine's policies for international travel for healthcare workers? (Updated 1/6/2022)

I need a specific COVID-19 test type (PCR, antigen) to travel. Where can I find a test? (Updated 9/17/2021)

  • Visit www.maine.gov/covid19/testing to find information on COVID-19 testing in Maine. This is not an all-inclusive list.
    • Maine CDC cannot guarantee the availability of appointments, test type, or timing of results at these sites. Call ahead to learn more from the site before arriving for a test.
  • Maine has seen recent dramatic increases in demand for COVID-19 testing.  If you know that you need a test for travel, make an appointment as soon as possible.  Some sites may not provide testing for travel clearance due to high demand.

What kind of COVID-19 test do I need to go to Canada? (Updated 9/17/2021)

  • Find information about COVID testing prior to going to Canada here.

I cannot find a COVID-19 test for travel. What should I do? (Updated 11/23/2021)

  • Due to high testing volume at this time, state-sponsored COVID-19 testing sites are not currently providing testing for travel clearance. Maine CDC does not keep an updated list of all testing sites in the state. 
    • Check with local pharmacies, urgent cares, and healthcare providers for testing availability in your area.  Call ahead as soon as possible to schedule your test.
    • It is up to the discretion of individual pharmacies and healthcare providers to offer testing for travel purposes.
  • Maine has seen recent dramatic increases in demand for COVID-19 testing.  If you know that you need a test for travel, make an appointment as soon as possible.  Some sites may not provide testing for travel clearance due to high demand.

I need a vaccine card with a QR code or a SMART Health Card to travel. Where can I get this? (Updated 2/15/2022)

  • Maine CDC’s Immunization Program does not issue these types of electronic codes with vaccine records.
  • You can find a list of issuers in Maine who offer SMART Health Cards with a QR code here.
    • You can also find FAQs about SMART Health Cards here.