Childcare centers receive a quarter of a million COVID-19 tests from the state
Childcare centers receive a quarter of a million COVID-19 tests from the state

Childcare centers receive a quarter of a million COVID-19 tests from the state

The state will begin handing out close to 250,000 federally funded COVID-19 rapid tests to child care facilities this week in an effort to “limit the spread of COVID-19 while minimizing job disruption for parents and employers,” the Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday. .

The increased access will allow parents to test their children for coronavirus after close contacts instead of keeping them at home in quarantine, according to DHHS.

The 250,000 tests going to childcare facilities are part of a more than 1 million test shipment that DHHS began receiving last week. The department plans to store the rest of the tests for later use in the event of a future outbreak of the virus, focusing on helping underserved communities, families with school children and people living in community settings.

DHHS also announced that it will make an additional 300,000 free COVID tests available for ordering by mail via the department’s website.

Meanwhile, Maine reported 306 new cases of COVID-19 and a further 20 deaths on Wednesday.

The deaths reported Wednesday likely include people who died weeks ago and were added to the state’s official census after a periodic review of death certificates by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Maine CDC also reported 115 COVID admissions as of Wednesday. Of hospitalized patients, 24 were in critical care and seven were in respirator.

These figures represent a small drop from Tuesday, when 116 patients were admitted and 25 of them were in intensive care.

COVID transmission has been on a downward trend in Maine since the height of the state’s omicron wave in early 2022. In mid-January, the state occupied close to 1,000 new cases a day.

Conditions are also improving nationally. Monday data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the latest available, shows 47,600 new cases. That is a drop from a maximum of over 800,000 cases per day in mid-January.

During the pandemic, Maine has seen 232,953 COVID cases, 2,167 deaths and 4,471 hospitalizations.

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