What guidance does Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center provide for students at Cutler Health Center regarding symptomatic COVID-19 testing?

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center at Cutler Health Center provides students receiving symptomatic COVID-19 testing with the following information and two fact sheets regarding quarantine and isolation:

Now that I have been tested, what happens next?

After being swabbed for Coronavirus (COVD-19; SARS COV2), the test is sent to the lab for analysis. Running the test and getting results may take several days depending on the demand on the lab.

Once the results are back you will receive a phone call to let you know if it is negative or positive.

What should I do while I wait?

This packet has important information to help you care for yourself and the people around you while you wait for results including:

  • When to quarantine
  • What to do if you are sick with Coronavirus

What if I test positive for COVID 19?

A staff member from the University of Maine will contact you to check in and help coordinate any academic or housing details. If you need to reach UMaine’s COVID information line, the phone number is 207.581.2681 or after hours you can call the UMaine Police Department/Dispatch 207.581.4040.

If you are experiencing new or worsening symptoms and are concerned about your health after hours please call 911; otherwise you may call Cutler Health Center Monday – Friday 8:00-5:00 at 207.581.4000.

The UMaine contact tracers will also contact you in their efforts to control COVID-19 and interview you for contact tracing. It is helpful if you write down a list of the people you came in close contact with and the places you visited in the past 48 hours and up to the last two weeks.

How long do I have to quarantine?

If you have a known exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual, you will need to still quarantine for 10 days after the exposure, even if you are tested and are negative.

If you have symptoms and test positive for COVID-19, you will need to isolate for 10 days after your symptoms first appeared PLUS at least 24 hours have passed since last measured fever without the use of fever-reducing medications PLUS symptoms have improved.

When to Quarantine
Stay home if you might have been exposed to COVID-19

Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others.

Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.

Who needs to quarantine?

People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19—excluding people who have had COVID-19 within the past 3 months.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again. People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.

What counts as close contact?

You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more

You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19

You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)

You shared eating or drinking utensils

They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

Steps to take

  • Stay home and monitor your health
  • Stay home for 10 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19
  • Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days
  • If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19

When to start and end quarantine

You should stay home for 10 days after your last contact with a person who has known COVID-19!

For all of the following scenarios, even if you test negative for COVID-19 or feel healthy, you should stay home (quarantine) since symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

See scenarios below to determine when you can end quarantine and be around others.

Scenario 1: Close contact with someone who has COVID-19—will not have further close contact

I had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 and will not have further contact or interactions with the person while they are sick (e.g., co-worker, neighbor, or friend).

Your last day of quarantine is 10 days from the date you had close contact.

Date of last close contact with person who has COVID-19 + 10 days = end of quarantine

Scenario 2: Close contact with someone who has COVID-19—live with the person but can avoid further close contact

I live with someone who has COVID-19 (e.g., roommate, partner, family member), and that person has isolated by staying in a separate bedroom. I have had no close contact with the person since they isolated.

Your last day of quarantine is 10 days from when the person with COVID-19 began home isolation.

Date person with COVID-19 began home isolation + 10 days = end of quarantine

Scenario 3. Under quarantine and had additional close contact with someone who has COVID-19

I live with someone who has COVID-19 and started my 10-day quarantine period because we had close contact. What if I ended up having close contact with the person who is sick during my quarantine? What if another household member gets sick with COVID-19? Do I need to restart my quarantine?

Yes. You will have to restart your quarantine from the last day you had close contact with anyone in your house who has COVID-19. Any time a new household member gets sick with COVID-19 and you had close contact, you will need to restart your quarantine.

Date of additional close contact with person who has COVID-19 + 10 days = end of quarantine

Scenario 4: Live with someone who has COVID-19 and cannot avoid continued close contact

I live in a household where I cannot avoid close contact with the person who has COVID-19. I am providing direct care to the person who is sick, don’t have a separate bedroom to isolate the person who is sick, or live in close quarters where I am unable to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.

You should avoid contact with others outside the home while the person is sick, and quarantine for 10 days after the person who has COVID-19 meets the criteria to end home isolation.

Date the person with COVID-19 ends home isolation + 10 days = end of quarantine

Steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick

If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow the steps below to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community.

Stay home except to get medical care

  • Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
  • Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.
  • Stay in touch with your medical provider. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
  • Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people

  • As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom. If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a mask.

Monitor your symptoms

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, or other symptoms.
  • Follow care instructions from your healthcare provider and local health department. Your local health authorities may give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.

When to seek emergency medical attention

  • Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion
    • Inability to wake or stay awake
    • Bluish lips or face
  • This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
  • Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility. Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

Call ahead before visiting your doctor

  • Call ahead. Many medical visits for routine care are being postponed or done by phone or telemedicine.
  • 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 protect themselves and other patients.

If you are sick wear a mask over your nose and mouth

  • You should wear a mask over your nose and mouth if you must be around other people or animals, including pets (even at home).
  • You don’t need to wear the mask if you are alone. If you can’t put on a mask (because of trouble breathing, for example), cover your coughs and sneezes in some other way. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people. This will help protect the people around you.
  • Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2 years, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is not able to remove the mask without help.
  • Note: During the COVID-19 pandemic, medical grade face masks are reserved for healthcare workers and some first responders. You may need to make a mask using a scarf or bandana.

Cover your coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Throw away used tissues in a lined trash can.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
  • Soap and water are the best option, especially if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid sharing personal household items

  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home.
  • Wash these items thoroughly with soap and water after using them or put in the dishwasher.

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day

  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your “sick room” and bathroom; wear disposable gloves. Let someone else clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas, but you should clean your bedroom and bathroom, if possible.
  • If a caregiver or other person needs to clean and disinfect a sick person’s bedroom or bathroom, they should do so on an as-needed basis. The caregiver/other person should wear a mask and disposable gloves prior to cleaning. They should wait as long as possible after the person who is sick has used the bathroom before coming in to clean and use the bathroom.
  • High-touch surfaces include phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.
  • Clean and disinfect areas that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
  • Use household cleaners and disinfectants. Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use a household disinfectant.
  • Be sure to follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. Many products recommend keeping the surface wet for several minutes to ensure germs are killed.

Source: CDC.GOV 08.20.2020