Covid Task Force update, Jan 14th 2022

12/17/21

An update from the Yarmouth Community COVID-19 Task Force.

COVID testing results

We carried out a record 207 tests this week (Mon 10th) and had an 14.5% positivity rate – a jump from 11% the week before. 

Drive-thru rapid Covid testing is on Tuesday Jan 18th this upcoming week

Because Monday is MLK Day, there will be rapid COVID Testing in Yarmouth next Tuesday Jan 18th from 8-10am at the DPW, 56 North Road. 

Anyone is welcome to come for testing. It’s drive-thru, so you don’t even have to get out of your car. 

All positive results will be called immediately, documented in the state portal and a copy emailed to the participant. Those who test negative will be informed by end of day – usually sooner. We can provide results within an hour to a limited number of people who need them to return to school/work that day.  

We test as fast as we can but recent large turnouts mean you may need to wait in line around a half hour. 

Those who arrive with pre-filled paperwork move through faster. You can download it and print it at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ieskJh90Fi_gn9rSYdeWY-2opcYduXl6/export?format=pdf

Call us on 603-252-5921 if you need transportation or to be tested at home, or if you have any questions afterwards such as ‘where are my test results?’

Please spread the word that we’re always looking for more volunteers. You don’t need to commit to every week – one or two shifts would be super helpful.

Some links you might find useful

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How can you find other PCR or antigen testing right now?

  • We hear anecdotally that rapid PCR testing is available more easily now at the Jetport.
  • Testing is also available at the Augusta Armory, Cross Insurance Arena, and Westbrook Public Safety – you are likely to need to make an appointment. 
  • https://www.maine.gov/covid19/  is updated on a daily basis with testing locations.

Home tests

We strongly recommend that people keep home test kits ready for when they might need them in a hurry. The good news is that health insurance is about to start paying for them. 

Beginning Jan 15th, insurance companies are required to cover the cost of up to 8 home tests per month for each individual on the plan. More information here:https://www.cms.gov/how-to-get-your-at-home-OTC-COVID-19-test-for-free or read yesterday’s Press Herald story.

Where to find home test kits to buy?

  • Walgreens in Yarmouth receives test kits on Wednesdays.
  • Walmart often has them available online and has quick shipping (if they’re not available at the time you look, try again later)
  • Alternatives to BinaxNow tests which are just as good and sell for similar prices include: on/go, QuickVue, InteliSwab, Flowflex and iHealth.

Remember: If you have symptoms and get a positive home test result, then you DO NOT need a follow-up ‘official’ test to confirm – you should immediately follow the CDC guidelines. 


What happens if someone in my family tests positive?

CDC guidelines are to isolate for 5 days (or longer if your symptoms are not resolving, or you have a fever), then wear a mask for another 5 days. 

Antigen testing is recommended before you end your isolation – a home test is fine. 

Coming out of Covid-19 isolation doesn’t have to be complicated is a comprehensive, easy-to-understand story from Dr Sanjay Gupta on CNN, covering what to do if you test positive, when and how to come out of isolation, and why the current rules have been developed. 

Some links you might find useful

  • Latest CDC Advice – what to do if you test positive for Covid or are exposed to someone with Covid
  • Maine CDC FAQs – regularly updated with all the latest information

Maine Community Vaccination Line:

This is another great resource. Call 1-888-445-4111 and they can help…

  • Find and schedule a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Find and schedule a COVID-19 test
  • Answer questions about COVID-19
  • Refer you to community resources
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Masks

Wearing a good mask is more important than ever. We have a piece on our website with suggestions for places to buy masks, and an explanation of the difference between N95, KN95, KF94, surgical and others.

https://www.bewellyarmouth.org/masks-which-to-buy-and-where/


Wastewater testing results

The virus level in the latest wastewater sample (Jan 3-4) were again the highest we have seen since wastewater testing began in September 2020. 

We’re now at double the highest level we saw during the Jan 2021 surge, and we’ve been seeing very high adjusted virus levels for nine weeks in a row.

You can see the latest results at https://www.bewellyarmouth.org/updated-wastewater-testing-results-2/

Thank you all!

Yarmouth Community Covid Task Force