Hi, this is Trey Stewart, the Assistant House Republican
Leader with this week’s Republican Radio Address.
By now, most of you have heard about the spread of the
Today, I want to talk about how Maine is preparing to
respond to the public health threat posed by the coronavirus disease.
The coronavirus is a respiratory illness that can spread
person to person.
It was first identified during an investigation into an
outbreak in Wuhan, China.
It is now spreading throughout the world and in parts of the
So far, there have been no identified cases in the State of
This week, House Republicans and other members of the Legislature and staff, received a briefing from Maine CDC Director Shah and Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Rogers. They provided us with the latest updates on the coronavirus.
Symptoms are similar to the flu, and can include:
-Shortness of breath
Call your doctor, and avoid emergency room exposure if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have the virus… or have been to an affected area.
Because these areas can, and likely will change, public
health officials here in Maine are working to prepare for the virus.
Additionally, the Maine CDC said that the state’s Health and
Environmental Testing Laboratory has conducted roughly a dozen tests for
coronavirus with all of them coming back negative for the virus.
The U.S. CDC updated guidelines to expand the criteria for
what makes individuals with symptoms of the virus eligible for testing.
Symptoms resemble that of the flu, and may include fever,
cough, and shortness of breath.
Again, Maine has no confirmed cases of coronavirus at this
Maine CDC previously reported that one individual who met
earlier federal testing criteria has tested negative.
In response to the expansion of federal criteria, more
individuals in Maine are being tested.
To support Maine’s response, the Legislature has sped up the
transfer of necessary funding to purchase testing equipment.
Maine CDC has received the new equipment, and state lab
staff are calibrating it and taking other steps to prepare for more testing.
Legislators have been told that the Maine CDC will inform
the public if positive tests are confirmed, and will offer regular updates on
The number of requests for testing will increase, as the
situation continues to evolve globally and in the United States. Moving
forward, tests will be conducted by both Maine CDC and the U.S. CDC to
facilitate prompt results.
Individuals who exhibit symptoms should contact their health
care providers, who will make the initial determination on whether corona virus
testing is advisable.
If testing is recommended, medical providers will alert the
Maine CDC to coordinate testing. As appropriate, health providers will take
samples and submit them to the Maine CDC.
Do not panic, but please take precautions.
-Avoid close contact with people who are sick
-Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, or sleeve
-Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
-Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
-Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care, and
-Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
The purpose of providing this information is to help ensure
the recommendations of the CDC are widely known. We encourage you to follow
them, to protect yourselves and help slow the spread of the virus.
Please do not panic.
Maine is well equipped to identify and contain the virus
should it become necessary.
The State of Maine and the federal government are working
hard to prevent the spread of coronavirus and reduce its impact in areas where
it is present.
This has been State Representative Trey Stewart with the
Weekly Republican Radio Address.