Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 Resources

Many local, state and national resources are available for anyone who needs support during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are also helping inpatients and families connect remotely.

Access Resources

Safe Appointments

Keeping you safe is our top priority as we resume time-sensitive care across the MaineHealth system. Learn more about new safety measures designed to protect you at all care locations.

Learn About Safe Appointments

Telehealth

Manage your health and stay connected to your care team, even when you can't leave your home.

Learn about Video Visits

Visitor Guidelines

All patients and visitors will be given a surgical mask to help reduce the risk of infection. We are also restricting visitors at all locations, with certain exceptions.

Read the Guidelines

Donations

Learn more about how to donate blood, funds, supplies or child care to support your local MaineHealth hospital's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn About Donations

Patient Care and Safety During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Per guidance from Governor Mills and the CDC, MaineHealth is resuming time-sensitive services across our health system. If you have a chronic condition or serious illness, it is important to see your doctor and continue with recommended procedures and surgeries. Postponing care could result in serious complications. Keeping you safe while providing exceptional care remains our priority. Safety precautions we’re taking at all MaineHealth care locations include:

  • Restricting visitors 
  • Screening patients and front line employees for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Cleaning surfaces and washing hands frequently
  • Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and carefully monitoring supplies
  • Using telehealth services to provide care remotely when possible
  • Following strict social distancing and masking guidance in our practice settings
  • Caring for COVID-19 patients in separate respiratory care centers 

Learn more about how you can get the care you need - safely and with minimal risk.

COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

Who can get a COVID-19 test at MaineHealth care locations?

Symptomatic COVID-19 Testing

Any MaineHealth patient with COVID-19 symptoms can be tested. Common symptoms include: fever or chills, new loss of taste or smell, new cough, headache, shortness of breath, muscle aches, or sore throat.*  If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please contact your MaineHealth provider who will arrange for testing, if indicated.

People with symptoms of COVID-19 who seek care at any MaineHealth Urgent Care location, Walk-in Care location or hospital Emergency Department will be evaluated and referred for testing, if indicated.

Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing

Asymptomatic testing is now available to established MaineHealth patients who are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms but:

  • Have had a known exposure to COVID-19, and/or
  • Have an elevated risk of exposure

People who have had a known exposure are those who have been within 6 feet of a person with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, for at least 30 minutes. For example:

  • Household contacts
  • Essential health care workers and first responders
  • Residents and staff of group living facilities

Examples of people who have an elevated risk include:

  • People returning from states with a COVID-19 prevalence higher than that in Maine
  • People who have participated in large gatherings
  • Employees of businesses who have direct, daily contact with members of the public
  • Essential health care workers and first responders
  • Residents and staff of group living facilities such as nursing homes and long-term care facilities

A MaineHealth provider referral is required for asymptomatic testing. Asymptomatic testing is not currently available to people who are not established MaineHealth patients. At this time, MaineHealth is not participating in the State of Maine “swab and send” or “standing order” programs.

*This is not a complete list of COVID-19 symptoms. Learn more about COVID-19 symptoms.


What can I do to help?

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 (also known as novel coronavirus) is a new disease that causes flu-like symptoms. A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

Most COVID-19 cases are mild to moderate but anyone can have severe symptoms, including children and young adults. Older adults and people who have underlying medical conditions such as heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications such as severe respiratory illness or death.

Learn more about COVID-19.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 infection?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:*

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:


  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to wake up
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your primary care provider for any symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Visit the federal CDC web page for the latest information on COVID-19 signs and symptoms.

How can I protect myself and my family?

Wear a face mask.


  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. 
    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

 

Clean your hands often.


  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact.


Stay home if you’re sick.


  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.

Cover coughs and sneezes.


  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect.


  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

CDC disinfection guide

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

Visit the federal CDC web page for the latest information on how to protect yourself and your loved ones.


 

What should I do if I feel sick?

Stay home except to get medical care.

  • Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Do not leave, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
  • Stay in touch with your doctorMonitor your symptoms. Be sure to get care if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency. If you have a medical appointment, call ahead and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients. 
  • Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people and pets in your home.

  • Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific “sick room” and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.
  • Limit contact with pets & animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people.
    • If possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick with COVID-19. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with them. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information. 

Wear a face mask.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. 
    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

Clean your hands often.

  • Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
  • Soap and water: Soap and water are the best option, especially if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid sharing personal household items.

  • Do not share: Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home.
  • Wash thoroughly after use: After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water or put in the dishwasher.

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday.

Clean high-touch surfaces in your isolation area (“sick room” and bathroom) every day; let a caregiver clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in other areas of the home.

  • Clean and disinfect: Routinely clean high-touch surfaces in your “sick room” and bathroom. Let someone else clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas, but not your bedroom and bathroom.
    • If a caregiver or other person needs to clean and disinfect a sick person’s bedroom or bathroom, they should do so on an as-needed basis. The caregiver/other person should wear a mask and wait as long as possible after the sick person has used the bathroom.

High-touch surfaces include phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.

  • Clean and disinfect areas that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
  • Household cleaners and disinfectants: Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use a household disinfectant.
    • Be sure to follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. Many products recommend keeping the surface wet for several minutes to ensure germs are killed. Many also recommend precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
    • Most EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective. CDC disinfection guide

Monitor your symptoms.

  • Seek medical attention, but call first: Seek medical care right away if your illness is worsening (for example, if you have difficulty breathing).
  • Follow care instructions from your health care provider and local health department: Your local health authorities will give instructions on wearing a mask, checking your symptoms and reporting information.
  • Call 911 if you have a medical emergency. Notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a face mask before medical help arrives.

Visit the federal CDC web page for the latest information on what to do if you feel sick.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

People do not necessarily need to be actively sick to spread the disease to others. Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. It is also possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation. Visit the CDC FAQ page for the latest information on how the virus is spread.

 

Should I get tested?

If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing, chills, sore throat or muscle aches, please stay home and call your health care provider. Your doctor will help decide whether you should be tested. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation. Visit the federal CDC web page for the latest information on COVID-19 testing.

Patient Safety During COVID-19

Keeping you safe is our top priority. Learn more about our enhanced safety measures and why you shouldn't delay care.