News of the announcement by Central Maine Healthcare’s likely reduction in services was an important part of the 200th COVID-19 media briefing conducted by Dr. Nirav Shah, Director of the Maine CDC, this afternoon.
The announcement was that unless Central Maine Medical Center, (CMMC) is permitted to disregard the Governor’s vaccination mandate for its health care workers, it will be forced to cut back on some patient care. That incudes neonatal care, pediatric care and trauma care. CMMC has lobbied Governor Mills to permit it to substitute the vaccination requirement with testing on a regular basis. Governor Mills has made it clear that testing for the COVID-19 is no substitute for vaccinations against the virus which is highly contagious. (To see her entire statement, please visit post herein dated October 12, 2021.)
When queried by the press today as to what would he say to those who left their health care jobs rather than be vaccinated, Dr. Shah responded: “This is a condition of employment. I wish folks would get vaccinated and get back into the health care field.” The Maine CDC has pledged to assist CMMC as it navigates its way through this crises. State Health & Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew said that she has asked the facility “where are the gaps in neonatal care?” When asked if the National Guard was being considered to assist CMMC, Dr Shah responded: some in the National Guard have medical training that they use in their careers. To draw them away from those occupations, would cut into other health care services some members of the National Guard perform.
Lambrew stated that for the people who are experiencing strain and stress from the pandemic, she suggested calling a new program: Strengthen Me. at 221-8l98. This program is intended to help find resources that will help them cope with the pandemic.
“Much more information is on the horizon and we look forward to keeping you informed,” said Dr. Shah at the conclusion of the hour long briefing. It can be viewed on Maine Public Television every Wednesday at 2:00 pm.