Dr. Nirav Shah, Director of the Maine CDC, announced at today’s daily briefing, that Bristol Seafood, on the Portland waterfront, employees has now reported an outbreak of five (5) cases of COVID-19. Dr. Shah said that the company has paused production.
Dr. Shah also announced that the construction company Cianbro company is now reporting nineteen (19) COVID-19 cases across many states. An investigation is on-going as to the origins of the deadly virus. Did it originate in Maine or from someone bringing it in to the state from elsewhere. It should be remembered that Governor Mills issued an Executive Order requiring anyone entering the state to quarantine for 14 days to help prevent the spread of the virus.
A State Street housing facility, Portland, is now reporting cases of the virus. More information on that will be available tomorrow.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has eliminated its testing prioritization system and is now allowing health care providers in Maine to seek testing for anyone they suspect of having COVID-19.
The elimination of the system is primarily driven by the Mills Administration agreement with Idexx that more than triples the State’s testing capacity. That expansion is now operational, allowing Maine CDC to notify health care providers today of significantly increased access to in-state testing for anyone suspected of having the disease, which includes people with symptoms as well as those who have had significant, close contact with a person with COVID-19, such as a spouse.
“The elimination of the testing prioritization system, driven largely by our expanded testing capacity in partnership with Idexx, is a welcome step forward for Maine,” said Governor Janet T. Mills. “As a result, more Maine people will have access to testing and we can begin to implement spot-check testing protocols being developed by he Maine CDC. My Administration will continue to work to expand testing capacity in the coming weeks,” said Governor Mills in a press release issued by her office today.
“The 7,000 per week testing that MaineCDC can now perform is a game changer,” said Dr. Shah toward the end of the briefing. “Maine becomes among the first wave of states to remove all prioritizations for testing. That is thanks to the agreement with Idexx.”