ELLSWORTH–Northern Light Maine Coast and Blue Hill hospitals have announced new, stricter guidelines for testing patients for the coronavirus in accordance with guidance from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The new guidelines are in response to the critically low national supply of laboratory materials, which is reducing the ability to perform COVID-19 testing.
“To preserve testing capacity for patients who may develop severe COVID-19, effective immediately we will prioritize testing according to CDC guidelines for high-risk individuals to include the following: hospitalized patients who are high-risk, healthcare workers and first responders and people living in closed settings such as nursing homes,” said hospital spokeswoman Kelley Columber.
Both hospitals established drive-up test sites on Friday.
“The community needs to understand that only people with referrals will be seen,” Columber said. “To get a referral you must have symptoms and have called our screening hotline at 844-489-1822. Please note that call volume is expected to be high and wait time to speak with a nurse could be long.”
Watch for more information by liking Northern Light Blue Hill or Northern Light Maine Coast’s Facebook page or visiting northernlighthealth.org.