Dr. Nirav Shah, director of Maine’s Center for Disease Control, told the press today that there are now 89 total cases of Covid-19 across the state. He emphasized that the numbers could be misleading, and that there may be many more cases throughout Maine than have been detected so far. Therefore social distancing is of extreme importance – it is our best preventive measure and could save many lives. He also said that physical distance does not need to mean social and emotional distance, and that people should reach out to each other through phone, letters, virtual conversations. He spoke about the importance of health equity, and that people from all income groups should receive equal care. He urges immigrant populations and others on limited incomes to use federally qualified health centers. There are many of these in Maine. To find the FQHC nearest you use the locator tool: https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/ Note that you should call your nearest health center or health department to discover their availability for COVID-19 screening and testing. In addition, please note many school-based health centers may not be operating because of school closings and local mandates. Individuals may receive primary health care services at their local health center at a reduced cost or free of charge depending on their economic status. According to Maine Equal Justice, https://maineequaljustice.org/people/covid-19-resources/ MaineCare will not charge copays for office visits and prescription drugs that may be needed for COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment. They will also remove copays for all other prescriptions, office visits, emergency department visits, radiology and lab services during this emergency. If you are uninsured, you can still get tested for coronavirus either at a local hospital or some clinics.
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