Essential Healthcare Provider - Home, Hope and Healing, Inc. continues to provide vital home healthcare and behavioral healthcare services to our clients and families. Governor Mills’
stay-at-home order of 3/31/20 reinforces that essential businesses such as ours may remain open for business in the State of Maine.
How COVID-19 spreads - The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:
· Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
· Through droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It is possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.
Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. It is also possible that people who are infected with COVID-19, but not experiencing symptoms (asymptomatic), can spread the illness to others, unbeknown to them.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent the illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
Visit the CDC FAQ page for the latest information on how the virus is spread.
Stay Informed But Not Overwhelmed: Mental health experts recommend that you choose one reliable news source to check daily and avoid overstimulating yourself with news alerts and updates throughout the day. Below is a list of reliable information sources from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the State of Maine:
Symptoms of COVID-19 & Guidance if You Have Symptoms:
Fever (higher than 100.3 degrees using an oral thermometer)
New respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat
Please continually assess yourself and the people you live with for symptoms. Stay home and call out of work if you are sick or if any member of your household is sick with these symptoms. You may be asked to stay home and self-isolate for up to 14 days from the onset of symptoms. Every situation is different, so your supervisor and the HR office will follow up with you about providing more details to help you and us determine if you are able to work or if you should stay home.
These symptoms may also be related to a cold or the flu. If you exhibit any of these symptoms call your healthcare provider who will determine whether you should be tested for COVID-19 or, and where you should go for testing. Providers determine whether testing should be done based on symptoms, history of contact and travel and other risk factors. (Also, see below for some of the drive-through testing sites that we are aware of that are available in Maine).
If you do not have a primary care provider or are uninsured, call an urgent care center or local health care facility for evaluation.
(NOTE: For staff who are enrolled in the HHH Aetna Group Health Insurance Plan, you have the option of calling Teledoc to determine the need for testing) – see the handouts provided to you in the last communication that we sent to you or call the HR office for more information).
A COVID-19 Screening Hotline is also available through Northern Light Health at
Severe symptoms - Anyone with severe symptoms of COVID-19(difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; persistent pain or chest pressure; new confusion or inability to arouse; bluish lips or face) should call 911, or call ahead to go to an emergency department.
Both the state public health lab and private labs are conducting tests. The state lab validates all presumptive positive tests from private labs.
The state lab is prioritizing testing for high risk individuals, which include symptomatic patients in one of the following categories:
· Hospitalized patients.
· Health care workers.
· First responders (EMS, Police, Fire, etc.).
· Those living in congregate settings (e.g. long-term care facilities, group
homes, assisted living facilities, jails, shelters).
· Patients older than 60 years.
· Patients with underlying medical conditions.
Test results are available within 24 to 48 hours after samples are received by the state lab. Private lab results times may vary.
Drive-Up COVID-19 Testing Sites –
Again, your doctor should determine if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and whether you should be tested. Your doctor’s office can direct you to some of the testing sites in Maine that may be available to you. Some of the ones known to us currently are (subject to change):
Mercy Hospital Portland
Bass Park Bangor
Waterville Faith Church
Thayer campus Waterville
Augusta Maine General
Sabasticook Valley Hospital
Portland - Intermed
How Do You Protect Yourself and Your Family?
Clean your hands often.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Stay home if you’re sick.
Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. If you need medical care call ahead before going to a healthcare provider or emergency department.
Cover coughs and sneezes.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
Throw used tissues in the trash.
Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a facemask if you are sick.
If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.
If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and disinfect.
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
CDC disinfection guide
Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.
EAP and Other Mental Health Resources –Emotional reactions to stressful situations such as new viruses are expected. The staff of Home, Hope and Healing have a resource available through Work Force EAP to help you and your family cope with the stressors that accompany the coronavirus situation. You and your household members have access to free and confidential phone support and short-term, in-person counseling – use the contact information provided in Constant Contact emails or mailings to you or call the human resources office at 207-362-5252 if you need the phone number and access code.
Also, the National Disaster Distress Helpline is also available 24/7 for emotional support and crisis counseling for anyone experiencing distress or other mental health concerns at
For more coronavirus information, contact Maine's 211 system by calling 2-1-1 or 1-866-811-5695, texting your ZIP code to 898-211, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention's website.
If you have questions or concerns about COVID-19, contact your direct supervisor or other members of the leadership team. We will continue to do all that we can to help support our clients and their families and our staff. Please continue to be as positive as possible for our clients and families. Remember, we will get through this together!
COVID-19 PowerPoint Overview (gives a great overview of this disease, how it’s spread, great cleaning and disinfecting tips, and how to care for someone with symptoms): https://www.homehopeandhealing.com/pdf/covid-19.pdf