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  • Caitlin DeLuca

Help Is There: An updated list of COVID-19 resources

Updated: Feb 26, 2021

We’re nearing the year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our state is beginning to recover: vaccination clinics are expanding, and our communities are working hard to keep healthy and get back on track economically.

While we’re on the right path, many working families and small businesses still need help.

The good news is Maine has many resources still available for those that need it most.

What do I do if I get sick?

If you receive a positive COVID-19 test, or find yourself with symptoms of COVID-19, the CDC recommends:

  • Stay home, and only leave if you need to seek medical care.

  • Take care of yourself. Getting enough rest, drinking water, and eating healthy will help you heal faster.

  • Monitor your symptoms, and be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing.

  • Keep away from other people as much as possible, even in your own home.

  • Inform your close contacts, so they can get tested.

What resources are available if I am unemployed?

  • Maine has been expanding the eligibility of federal unemployment benefits for workers impacted by COVID-19. The current extension began in the new year and will be available until at least March 13, 2021. For more unemployment information, click here.

What do I do if I’m struggling to pay my bills?

There are social safety nets in place to help alleviate the pressure. If you need food assistance:

  • Resources on Social Service programs including School Lunches, SNAP, TANF and more are available here.

  • If you need access to a food bank, visit this website to find one near you.

If you need healthcare:

  • You can apply for MaineCare anytime through My Maine Connection.

  • Affordable healthcare coverage options are available under a new special enrollment period. You can enroll in Marketplace health coverage February 15 through May 15. Find out if you qualify here.

  • Consumers for Affordable Healthcare provides a free assistance hotline to help guide you on all things healthcare-related. You can find the helpline here.

What is the status of opening schools in Maine?

Maine’s public schools are opening based on each county’s specific risk level — with requirements in place such as face coverings for all, six feet of distance, symptom screening, home isolation if sick, and more.

  • All Counties are currently marked GREEN, which means there is a relatively low risk of COVID-19 spread and that schools may consider in-person instruction.

  • State officials revisit the status of each county and its schools every two weeks.

When can I get vaccinated?

Because there is a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines, Maine is distributing vaccines in phases. Maine has just adopted an age-based phase approach for vaccine eligibility, depending upon the availability of vaccines. The new schedule is as follows:

  • March 3: 60 and older

  • April: 50 and older

  • May: 40 and older

  • June: 30 and older

  • July and beyond: Ages 29 and under

We know there is still a long way to go when it comes to our recovery, but if we rely on each other and work together (at a distance), we can pull through.

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