State CDC Director Cautions Health Care Providers To Take Care Of Themselves

Mar 11, 2020

State health officials say there are still no confirmed cases of Covid -19 in Maine, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Dr. Nirav Shah speaks at Wednesday's briefing
Credit Mal Leary / Maine Public

Meanwhile they are working to prepare Maine health care providers for any cases that might develop.

(Related: What Mainers Need To Know About The Coronavirus

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the state’s Center for Disease Control, says the CDC has been meeting with various groups of health care providers to update them on best practices.

“We are in the process of preparing for what could be a very long marathon. So while we are simultaneously preparing to take care of Maine people, we also need to take care of ourselves, and that’s a message I hope all health care providers of all different stripes in Maine heed.”

He says he is concerned about reports from Italy of doctors and other providers getting overwhelmed by the high number of cases.

“It does no one any good if the health care force, whether that be physicians, nurses, ambulance drivers, anyone in the health care community, if we burn ourselves out.”

Shah says the CDC is also teaming up with the statewide 211 information line to provide operators to answer basic questions about the coronavirus and to direct callers to where they can get answers to more complex questions.

“211 will be active and anyone can contact 211 and that will connect them with a live person here in Maine who can answer general questions about the coronavirus.”

As of noon Wednesday, the state CDC says 42 people have tested negative for COVID-19, with 5 results still pending.