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Maine CDC Director Dr. Shah Shares Concerns About Holiday COVID Spikes – WAGM


PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -The Thanksgiving holiday brought many families back together for in person gatherings, but it could have brought an unwelcome visitor as well, COVID-19.
According to Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, family gatherings, like thanksgiving dinner and Christmas, are the perfect place for COVID or other respiratory viruses to spread, especially now that many precautions such as masking and social distancing are no longer in use.
Dr. Nirav Shah “The holidays are a time where we want people to be getting together and reestablishing those social connections that a lot of people may have lost during the pandemic. So we want folks out there, enjoying themselves and enjoying the holidays.There are ways to do that safely to minimize the chance that you will get COVID or RSV or the flu, one of the biggest ones is something i mentioned already to go out and get your booster and get your flu shot. But there are other things you can do right now to prepare, the first thing is to make sure you have COVID tests on hand. I think everyone should have a case of COVID tests at home ready to go in case you need to use them. the state of Maine is actually giving them out for free you can go to accesscovidtests.org and all you need to do is put your name and address in and the state of Maine will ship you 5 COVID tests every month for free. Those tests are important because you can use them before you go to thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner as we are coming up to now, to reduce the likelihood you will infect anybody or you can use them after you go to make sure that what you have is COVID or something different so having those tests are critical”
Dr. Shah adds another thing people should be doing this holiday season is having a conversation with their doctor and forming a plan for if they do test positive, what treatment options are available, and which pharmacies currently carry the medications..
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