Staying Safe: Information about the COVID-19 virus 

Where can I get reliable information and updates about COVID-19?

MCCS encourages you to stay-up-to-date on developments by seeking information through credible sources, such as the Maine Center for Disease Control and U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC has also issued specific guidance regarding higher education institutions.

If you have a question that is not answered here, visit the Maine CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions.

In addition, 211 Maine is a new option for Mainers to get answers to questions about COVID-19 at any time. This service is available by dialing 211 (or 1-866-811-5695), texting your ZIP code to 898-211, or emailing info@211maine.org.

What precautions can I take to protect myself from COVID-19?

The best way to prevent infection is to get vaccinated and wear masks as appropriate or required. In addition, people should follow public health recommendations and follow general respiratory prevention measures:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • When in public, wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth.
  • Avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
Where can I get a COVID vaccination?
  • If you need help scheduling an appointment, or want to know if a site near you is offering vaccinations without an appointment, call the Maine COVID-19 Community Vaccination Line at 1-888-445-4111.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19 and when do they appear?
  • Signs and symptoms include: fever, cough, difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, and can range from mild to severe and even death.
  • Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
What should I do if I become sick with COVID-19 or suspect I am infected with the virus that causes it?

The Centers for Disease Control provides the following advice. More detailed information about each of these recommendations is included in the CDC’s information sheet: What to Do if You are Sick:

  • Stay home except to get medical care.
  • As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor: If you have a medical appointment that cannot be postponed, call your doctor’s office, and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office staff protect themselves and other patients.
  • Wear a cloth face covering when you are around other people.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean your hands often.
  • Avoid sharing dishes, cups, eating utensils, towels, and bedding. After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces daily.
  • Monitor your symptoms: Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility.
What if someone in my home is diagnosed with COVID-19?

If someone in your home has been diagnosed with COVID-19, immediately check with a medical professional for guidance. Contact your instructor or supervisor if the medical advice you receive will require you to miss class or work.

What if someone in my home has been asked to self-monitor for symptoms?

If someone in your home has been asked by the Maine CDC or a health care provider to self-monitor for symptoms, you should also self-monitor.

Self-monitoring means people should monitor themselves for fever by taking their temperatures twice a day and remain alert for cough or difficulty breathing. If they feel feverish or develop measured fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during the self-monitoring period, they should self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider to determine whether medical evaluation is needed.

If the person in your home becomes symptomatic, please check with a medical professional for guidance. Contact your supervisor if medical direction will require you to be out.

References 

CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019

Maine CDC COVID-19