Governor Janet T. Mills and the Maine CDC announced today Maine’s first presumptive positive case of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Maine. The individual who tested positive is a woman in her 50s from Androscoggin County. The Maine CDC is speaking to the individual and her medical provider to assess travel history and begin to investigate possible community exposure. The individual is quarantined in her home.
“The MaineCDC has been preparing for this eventually since the end of last year,” said Governor Mills. “With one presumptive case, Maine has a unique window of opportunity to delay an outbreak, like those we see in other states, and to minimize our exposure.”
“MaineCDC has been preparing for more than two months for the eventual arrival of COVID-19,” said Nirav Shah, director of the MaineCDC. “As we work to ensure the best care for this individual, we are not seeing widespread community transmission in Maine. The recommendations we make today is designed to limit potential spread of the virus here.”
The individual’s test sample will be sent to the US CDC for confirmation. Test results on other individuals are pending. MaineCDC will inform the public if positive tests are confirmed and will offer regular updates on testing recommendations. Positive test results will be posted to Maine CDC’s coronavirus webpage.
Governor Mils has already formulated additional steps her Administration is taking to reduce the possible spread of the disease and announced these steps today:
These steps include: 1) proclaiming an insurance emergency to improve access to care and require private health insurance plans to cover costs related to coronavirus testing; 2) suspending all non-essential out-of-state work travel by State employees; 3) recommending on the advice of MaineCDC, that non-essential large, indoor gatherings of 250 attendees or more be postponed in order to delay a potential coronavirus outbreak and substantially reduce its spread.