The Maine CDC offered updates on the coronavirus, steps that are being taken to prepare, and prevention information for the public.

Dr. Nirav Shah, Executive Director of the Maine CDC, started off his Wednesday morning address by stating that there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maine, and no presumptive cases, with five tests still awaiting results. A presumptive positive means that the person tested positive in Maine, but the test still needs to be confirmed by the national CDC. He says the Maine CDC is working to be completely transparent in its handling of the illness, including assuring that residents will immediately be notified when and if a positive or presumptive positive is received in Maine.

Maine's 211 service, which offers information about a wide variety of agencies, will have access to a helpline that can answers questions for the public. The 211 coronavirus line will have information about the number of cases, travel advisories, and other general information. 211 Maine can be reached by simply calling 211 or by texting your zip code to 898211. Specific information should be obtained from medical professionals. Anyone who thinks they may have the illness should CALL their doctor first, and not just show up at the office.

The Maine CDC has advised healthcare facilities and long-term care facilities to start meeting with their staff and make preparations for a possible outbreak. These preparations include limiting visitors and screening them for symptoms before they're allowed to enter the facilities, postponing elective surgery, and finding ways to separate contagious patients from non-affected patients.

Dr. Shah asks the public to stay healthy, eat right, and exercise. Getting a flu shot will not prevent people from getting the coronavirus, but will help avoid influenza, which has already killed 27 people in Maine. Residents should stay informed, to make sure they have the most up-to-date information, which can be found on the Maine CDC's coronavirus website and on the national CDC's website. And, finally, WMTW-TV reports Dr. Shah asks that Mainers look out for one another, and make sure their family, friends, and neighbors have what they need.

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