As of noon Sunday, March 22, 89 Maine residents have been confirmed positive for the coronavirus, according to the state. Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support this mission by purchasing a digital subscription.
The VA Maine Health Care System announced emergency protocols Sunday after three members of its community tested positive for the new coronavirus.
Two veterans in the Maine VA system and one employee have tested positive, according to a notice posted Sunday on the system’s website.
All three community members are currently isolated at home and “practicing self-care” as advised by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, the notice said. The agency said that it was not able to disclose any other information, such as the location of the positive cases.
On Monday, VA Maine will begin drive-up, appointment-only testing at the Togus campus in Augusta. Appointments can be made through primary care doctors.
The VA plans to expand testing capabilities to the Portland, Lewiston and Bangor outpatient clinics, if more test-kits — which are currently scarce — become available, according to the notice.
The agency also announced that it would switch to a mail order system to provide most medication prescriptions to veterans. Veterans may request refills and renewals at 207-623-5770. Post-surgical and discharge medication will be available for in-person pick-up.
The Maine VA system serves more than 42,500 veterans with facilities in Bangor, Calais, Caribou, Fort Kent, Houlton, Lewiston, Lincoln, Portland, Rumford and Saco. On March 13, the VA announced that it would transition to virtual care for almost all outpatient clinical visits at its sites in Maine.
On Sunday, the Maine CDC announced that 53 of the 89 positive cases of the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, were in Cumberland County. Two additional people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Cumberland County have recovered.
The VA website reported Sunday that there were 160 positive veteran cases nationwide, and had administered 1,524 tests.
Watch: What older adults need to know about COVID-19