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COVID-19 Updates For the New Year

Dec 22, 2020
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We are grateful that COVID-19 vaccines are bringing much needed relief to healthcare workers at the end of a difficult year. The first supplies in Maine are reaching frontline medical staff and Long Term Care Facilities. Several more versions of the vaccines are close to finishing their trials, which will add to the overall supplies, and Maine residents can expect to have access to vaccine doses later in the 2021.

Community Health Options is committed to providing information throughout the coronavirus pandemic. For vaccine-related information, click here.

Coronavirus Prevention

As we wait for more COVID-19 vaccines to become widely available, infection rates in the U.S. and Maine are climbing, and it’s important to keep following COVID-19 protocols. Avoid exposure and restrict the spread of COVID-19 by:

  • Wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth whenever you leave home;
  • Cleaning your hands regularly and thoroughly with an alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water;
  • Maintaining at least six feet of distance between yourself and others while out in public;
  • Refraining from touching your eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible;
  • Covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze, then disposing the used tissue immediately.

Stay Informed

For more information about COVID-19 prevention and testing, click here. Rely on trustworthy sources for information on COVID-19, which we continue to update on our website.

From all of us at Health Options, enjoy a safe holiday season and a Happy New Year.

 

SEE ALSO

Community Health Options (Health Options) gathered for its 2020 Annual Member Meeting via webinar on November 19. Typically an in-person gathering, this year’s virtual meeting was made notable with Health Options’ having the honor of hosting Maine Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Director, Dr. Nirav Shah, as guest speaker.

Health Options’ CEO and President Kevin Lewis provided a review of newly elected board members, 2020 achievements and financial results, and welcomed Dr. Shah, who shared his perspective on leading Maine’s statewide response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, from early public health actions to small town outbreaks and the current resurgence.

Dr. Shah has gained local and national notoriety for his no-nonsense approach to educating Maine people about the risks and necessary precautions of living with COVID-19. In an interview with Scientific American, he said sharing hard facts and asking for simple calls to action, such as mask-wearing, helped keep infection rates low.

“In public health, our first and most important job is to get the people behind us,” said Dr. Shah.

Dr. Shah gave advice for planning safe holiday gatherings:

  • It’s best to postpone big holiday gatherings this year, or gather for socially-distanced outdoor activities, if you are able.
  • If you have college children or family members traveling from other parts of the country, a recommended timeline for testing is 72 hours before travel, followed by 14 days of quarantine.
  • Don’t overthink face masks: the best face mask has multiple layers, is washable, fits snugly and is designed to cover the nose and mouth.
  • With effective vaccines on the near horizon, we can look forward to more holiday gatherings in 2021, but must bear in mind that national vaccine distribution will be a massive effort and will take many months to reach the general population.

“It’s a critical time to be part of the healthcare community. From local pharmacies, to state and national healthcare policy makers, we are all in this together,” said Lewis. “Dr. Shah reminded us that each of our actions count when it comes to keeping our communities as safe and healthy as possible through the holidays and beyond. As a community-oriented non-profit healthcare insurance provider, working together is something we take seriously every day, especially now.”