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. This Order was also revised September 22, 2020 to allow any individual in Maine who is at least 12 months of age or older to receive testing. Read the Standing Order (PDF).

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.

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).

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.

 

Information for Providers Receiving Abbott BinaxNOW Antigen Tests

The Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card is a rapid antigen test for deteting active infections of COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in partnership with the Department of Defense (DOD), is providing rapid point-of-care tests to communities across the United States. For questions about distribution, please visit the HHS site for rapid test distribution.

As noted in the FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card is authorized for use at the Point of Care in patient care settings operation under a CLIA Certification Waiver, Certificate of Compliance, or Certificate of Accreditation.

Abbott has a training toolkit that can be used for self-guided training and is also holding webinars to reinforce key learnings related to BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card and the NAVICA App. The following resources can be utilized by providers that receive the BinaxNOW tests:

All negative and positive results must be reported to Maine CDC using REDCap. Abbott technical support is available for questions: 1-800-257-9525.