COVID-19: Healthcare Providers

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Interim Guidance

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.

 

Standing Order

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.

For more information, read the Standing Order Frequently Asked Questions (PDF).

Current Testing Guidelines for Maine's Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory (HETL)

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-19Read the IDSA Guidelines.

Accessing Testing At HETLIf 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.