COVID-19: Healthcare Providers
On this page:
- Interim Guidance
- Standing Order
- Current Testing Guidelines for Maine State Lab
- Popular Resources
- Health Alert Network (HAN) Advisories
Healthcare providers no longer need to call Maine CDC when they test a patient for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19). Clinicians should use their judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested.
No vaccine for COVID-19 is currently available; however, vaccine trials are in progress.
For more information, visit U.S. CDC's webpage on infection control.
On June 8, 2020, Maine CDC issued a Standing Order (“Order”) that authorizes any health care provider or other trained personnel at a health care facility or medically-supervised COVID-19 collection site (collectively, “collection site”) in the state to collect and submit for laboratory analysis specimens to be tested using a SARS-CoV-2 PCR molecular test for any individual in accordance with the conditions of the Order. This Order was revised on June 18, 2020 to clarify language regarding specimen collection protocols. Read the Standing Order (PDF).
The Standing Order is a physician’s order that authorizes lab testing for COVID-19 for individuals in Maine who have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, or who may have been exposed to others with COVID-19, AND who do not otherwise have access to a health care provider who can order a COVID-19 lab test.
The DHHS Standing Order is not meant to replace existing patient-provider relationships or provider-laboratory relationships.
The Order also authorizes the collection site that submitted the specimen for SARS-CoV-2 molecular testing under this Order to receive the results of the test directly from the testing laboratory. This Order further authorizes the laboratory that performed the molecular test for SARS-CoV-2 to provide test results directly to the individual who was tested, with the individual’s consent.
Individuals who obtain testing pursuant to the Order must be (1) at least 12 months of age or older, and (2) fall into one of the categories outlined in the Order.
In line with the Standing Order for COVID-19 Testing issued on June 18, 2020, Maine's Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory (HETL) will perform the SARS-CoV-2 molecular test on specimens collected from individuals who meet the eligibility criteria listed in the Standing Order. Read the Standing Order (PDF).
In order to maintain laboratory capacity for the activities noted above, HETL will not test specimens collected by congregate facilities that choose to conduct universal testing of their staff and residents when that recommendation has not been approved by Maine CDC.
Maine CDC recommends following the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Guidelines on the Diagnosis of COVID-19. Read the IDSA Guidelines.
Accessing Testing At HETL. If facility has not previously submitted specimens to HETL, please set up an account with HETL PRIOR to submitting any samples to HETL for COVID testing. To set up an account, please fax the following information to HETL at 207-287-1727:
- Facility name
- Contact name
- Facility address
- Phone number, and
- Confidential fax number.
HETL will contact your facility with confirmation of receipt of the information.
Once an account is established, specimens can be forwarded to HETL.
Testing forms and information on acceptable swabs and transport media are found on HETL's website. Download the information and forms.
HETL Swab and Media Chart for Submitting Samples (PDF)
Full list of Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of PPE
Updated Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response
COVID-19 Testing Coverage for Uninsured Individuals
Standing Order for COVID-19 Testing (PDF)
Standing Order FAQs for COVID-19 Testing (PDF)
Quarantine Guidance for Healthcare and Critical Infrastructure Workers with COVID-19 Exposure (PDF)
- FAQ for Electronic Testing Order and Reporting (eTOR) and Submitting COVID-19 Specimens - September 29, 2020 (PDF)
- COVID-19 Testing Updates - September 8, 2020 (PDF)
- Changes to U.S. CDC COVID-19 Guidance - July 24, 2020 (PDF)
- COVID-19 Testing at HETL - June 30, 2020 (PDF)
- Universal Testing in Congregate Living Settings - May 23, 2020 (PDF)
- Increased COVID-19 Testing Capacity at Maine CDC Laboratory - May 18, 2020 (PDF)
- Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Potentially Associated with COVID-19 - May 11, 2020 (PDF)
- Testing for COVID-19 - Antibody Testing - May 1, 2020 (PDF)
- Prioritization of Testing and Discontinuation of Isolation - March 19, 2020 (PDF)
The MaineHAN is a secure, web-based communication system used by Maine CDC and its partners to exchange information within and between their respective agencies. Physicians, nurses, hospital staff, emergency preparedness and mangement personal, first responders, and other public health workers are encouraged to sign up.