Message from Representative Jessica Fay
|March 13, 2020
I write today to share an update on COVID 19, commonly known as the coronavirus. Yesterday, Gov. Mills’ office announced the first presumptive positive case of the coronavirus in Maine. The individual who tested positive is a woman in her 50s from Androscoggin County. While this is not unexpected, we are all concerned with each new announcement of the disease spreading, Governor Mills’ Office and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) have been proactively preparing to respond to the coronavirus since December. We all need to work together to minimize exposure and follow best practices. The Legislature has been working closely with the Governor’s Office and the Maine CDC to respond. Here are some of the actions that have been taken so far: The Governor is (read full release at this link):Proclaiming An Insurance Emergency: This will improve access to care and require private health insurance plans to cover costs related to coronavirus testing.
Limiting State Employee Travel: Suspending all non-essential out-of-state work travel by state employees will limit potential exposure to the coronavirus.
Recommending Postponing Large, Indoor Gatherings: On the advice of Maine CDC, suggesting non-essential large, indoor gatherings of 250 attendees or more be postponed will help delay a potential coronavirus outbreak and substantially reduce its spread.
The Maine CDC is:
Ensuring there is adequate supplies of personal protective equipment for health care workers and first responders.
Providing 24-7 consultations with our public health professionals.
Adjusting emergency response protocols to adapt to the coronavirus.
Running coronavirus tests through their lab equipment, which they updated for this purpose.
Engaging public health nurses as part of our emergency preparedness team.
The Legislature is:
Temporarily ending public tours, concerts, Hall of Flags events and other large gatherings.
Closing the viewing gallery to the public and postponing outside participation in Legislative Session, such as honorary pages, the distribution of sentiments and joint resolutions.
Considering any emergency legislation that may be needed as part of the coronavirus response. We are also offering a variety of resources to make sure you are aware of any changes in the coronavirus status or in the state’s response, including: 211 Maine: Get answers at any time by dialing 211 (or 1-866-811-5695), texting your ZIP code to 898-211, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maine CDC Coronavirus Website: Sign up for email updates, learn more about the coronavirus and get the latest status in Maine at www.maine.gov/dhhs/coronavirus.
U.S. CDC Coronavirus Website: Get nationwide and global updates and learn more about the coronavirus at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/. Finally, here are some things we encourage you to do at home: Social Distancing: Follow guidance to avoid large group gatherings, limit physical contact such as handshakes and, if you’re an employer, consider instituting work from home or paid time off options.
Avoid Travel: Postpone any unnecessary out-of-state travel.
Keep Healthy: Practice the same preventive measures you would to prevent catching a cold: wash your hands often, cover coughs and sneezes, stay home if you are sick.
Call Your Doctor: If you are exhibiting any cold or flu symptoms or believe you may have been exposed to the coronavirus, call your medical provider. My promise to you is that, across Maine’s government, the health, safety and welfare of Maine people is our top priority. It is our goal to limit the chances of you or anyone in our state contracting the coronavirus, but it is also our goal to remove any barriers that could prevent you from getting tested or treated if you do exhibit symptoms of the disease.
I will be communicating and coordinating with local officials to make sure they have the information they need to stay on top of the virus at the local level. As always, please feel free to reach out to me either by phone or email if you have questions or concerns. Thank you for doing your part. If we each prioritize our health and stay informed, we can protect the safety of all those around us.
|Sincerely,Jess FayServing District 66207-415-4218 email@example.com