Mills Administration announces launch of new COVID-19 testing sites

Mon, 11/09/2020 - 5:30pm

    The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced today the launch of two new COVID-19 testing sites in Maine through a partnership with Promerica Health. The additional sites expand access to standard and rapid COVID-19 testing to people in Maine who think they need a test, regardless of symptoms and without the need for a referral from a health provider.

    "At a time of rising COVID-19 cases in Maine, these new testing sites are especially important in identifying and isolating people with this contagious and deadly disease," said DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. "The new Promerica Health sites expand our already robust testing capacity. We thank Promerica Health for helping to make this happen.”

    Promerica Health, a Falmouth-based health engagement company that has partnered with DHHS on COVID-19 testing since July, is opening two new "swab and send" testing sites.

    Today, Promerica Health began COVID-19 testing at the Portland International Jetport. Appointments will be available 7 days a week, from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., to both inbound travelers and members of the local public. Testing is provided to both passengers and non-passengers inside the terminal on Level 1 (ground level).

    This Friday, Promerica Health will begin offering mobile testing at the Downtown Auburn Transportation Center. Appointments will be available 5 days a week, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Promerica Health is preparing the Auburn site with assistance from the Maine Emergency Management Agency, the National Guard, and the City of Auburn.

    Appointments at both sites may now be scheduled online at CovidTestForME.com. As with all swab and send sites, testing is available under the DHHS Standing Order to anyone who thinks they need a test, with or without symptoms. Specimens from both locations will be sent to the State's Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory (HETL). Promerica Health previously provided mobile swab and send testing at the Maine Visitor Information Center in Kittery.

    Promerica Health is providing standard PCR testing at the Jetport and Auburn sites free of charge under its swab and send agreement with DHHS. Separate from that agreement, Promerica Health will additionally offer rapid Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 testing at the Jetport at a cost of $25 per test, by appointment only and subject to availability. For more information, visit CovidTestForME.com

    "We are excited to expand our testing efforts in Maine, and our partnership with DHHS, at this critical moment," said Kevin Joyce, EVP/General Manager, Promerica Health (a TideSmart Company). "While we deliver similar services throughout the country, the opportunity to serve our friends and neighbors is particularly rewarding. These new testing sites will help address increasing demand in Portland, Lewiston/Auburn, and especially among those traveling through Portland Jetport."

    "I'm delighted to hear that a new Swab and Send site will soon be opening in Auburn," said Sen. Ned Claxton of Auburn. "With easier access to reliable testing for folks in our area, people and employers will be better able to promote public health and get more businesses open."

    "This testing site will help keep our businesses safe as our economy continues to reopen," said Rep. Bettyann Sheats of Auburn and Minot. "It will protect our nursing homes and care facilities, especially as visits begin to move inside. And most importantly, it will help us to stop the spread of this aggressive virus in our community. Legislators from Auburn and Lewiston worked closely with the chamber along with the Governor's office, DHHS, local businesses and health care providers to bring this Swab and Send site to Auburn."

    Maine's testing capacity is among the best in the nation. This capacity - which is at 552 percent of Maine's testing target according to the Harvard Global Health Institute is the result of a deal Governor Mills reached with Maine-based IDEXX Laboratories five months ago. That agreement, as well as partnerships with Maine health care organizations and exceptional work by the State's Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory, allowed Maine to become one of the first states in the nation to eliminate its testing prioritization system and issue a standing order allowing anyone in Maine who thinks they need a test to get one.

    Maine has established more than two dozen "swab and send" testing locations that offer molecular testing at no charge. For a list of all sites providing tests to people without symptoms and without requiring a provider referral, visit the Keep Maine Healthy website.