Email 11 December 16th 2020

Update #11

December 16, 2020

Helping You Stay Informed and Healthy 

  1. The Promise of COVID-19 Vaccines
  2. COVID-19 Tests for Patients with Symptoms
  3. Staying Safe in the Meantime
  4. Your Health Is More Important than Ever
  5. Home for the Holidays
  6. Thank You, Again, for Your Continued Patience 

The Promise of COVID-19 Vaccines

This week we received the long-awaited news of the approval and authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in the US. With this news, and the promise of the Moderna vaccine in the FDA approval pipeline, comes renewed hope that we have an additional powerful weapon in the fight against this destructive pandemic.

When can you get the vaccine? Initial vaccine supplies are very limited and have been prioritized for high-risk groups. Dr. Nirav Shah, head of the Maine CDC, has reported that it will likely be several months before we have access to the vaccine at a community level in Maine. Martin’s Point has not received any vaccine. The vaccine supply and distribution situation is and will continue to be very fluid. We will update you as new information becomes available.

How will you know when Martin’s Point has vaccine? For the most current information about COVID-19 vaccine availability at Martin’s Point, we kindly request that you first check our COVID-19 vaccine page, rather than calling your provider. This will help keep our phone lines open for ill patients.

Covid-19 Testing for Patients

To provide the best services, please note that we are currently focusing our testing on patients with COVID-19 symptoms and patients who have been exposed to COVID-19. Please see our COVID-19 Information page for a list of symptoms. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have been exposed or are asymptomatic, but require testing for work or travel, please call your provider for appointment options.


Staying Safe in the Meantime

While we wait for the positive effects of widespread vaccination, it’s important to continue to do what we can NOW to stay as safe as possible and limit the spread of COVID-19. Please continue to wash your hands frequently, wear a face mask at all times while out in public and maintain social distancing whenever possible.

Have a visit scheduled? Please enter our Health Care Center building no more than 15 minutes before your appointment and ask others in your party to wait in the car during your appointment, when possible. We require that masks be worn at all times, including when alone in exam rooms. 

Your Health Is More Important Than Ever

There are a few important things you can do now to protect your health. 

  1. Get your flu shot if you haven’t already.
  2. Connect with your provider if you have delayed important preventive health visits or are managing a chronic condition.
  3. Take advantage of telehealth visits, if appropriate, and curbside prescription pick-up (available at most pharmacies, including Martin’s Point Portland and Portsmouth Pharmacies).
  4. Tap into mental health support resources. The extended isolation and disruption of holiday traditions is hard on everyone. Reach out to friends and family if you’re feeling down and contact your provider if you would like a referral to a mental health professional. It’s important to know you are not alone and help is available.

Home for the Holidays

With cases of COVID-19 spiking here and across the country, one of the best ways you can keep yourself, your family, and your friends safe is to stay right where you all are—no matter where that may be. The CDC is strongly discouraging travel at this time, when cases of COVID are reaching unprecedented highs.

The COVID Response page contains the most up-to-date information on these travel issues and more. The CDC COVID Data Tracker also contains state-by-state data on COVID-19.

Thank You for Your Continued Patience 

With both COVID-19 and flu, we continue to receive a very high volume of patient calls. We apologize and appreciate your patience as we work to provide timely phone service during this time. 

You can also use the MyMartinsPoint® patient portal to reach your provider with questions, request appointments, view lab results, and review/pay bills. Click on the link above to log in to your existing portal account or to register to create a new account. 

Contacting your pharmacy directly is often the fastest way to request a prescription refill, even when your original prescription has expired.

Stay Up-to-Date on COVID-19: As always, you can conveniently find helpful resources 24/7 to keep you and your family safe and informed on our COVID-19 Information page.

Best wishes for healthy holidays!

Dr. Jonathan Harvey
Chief Medical Office

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