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COVID-19

Please visit this page for Bangor-area public health resources and up-to-date information during the COVID-19 pandemic. Information will be updated daily.

The following public health information aligns with the latest US CDC and Maine CDC guidance, and is provided under the direction of Patty Hamilton, APRN, Director, City of Bangor, Department of Public Health and Community Services.

Click on the + and – signs next to each title below to read the content in each section.

As communities and businesses continue to reopen, US CDC has provided guidance on resuming daily activities such as errands as safely as possible.

US CDC states that while there is no way to ensure zero risk, it is important to understand potential risks and how to adopt different types of prevention measures to protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

In general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. 

So, think about:

  • How many people will you interact with?
    • Interacting with more people raises your risk.
    • Being in a group with people who aren’t social distancing or wearing cloth face coverings increases your risk.
    • Engaging with new people (e.g., those who don’t live with you) also raises your risk.
    • Some people have the virus and don’t have any symptoms, and it is not yet known how often people without symptoms can transmit the virus to others.
  • Can you keep 6 feet of space between you and others? Will you be outdoors or indoors?
    • The closer you are to other people who may be infected, the greater your risk of getting sick.
    • Keeping distance from other people is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, such as older adults and those with underlying medical conditions.
    • Indoor spaces are more risky than outdoor spaces where it might be harder to keep people apart and there’s less ventilation.
  • What’s the length of time that you will be interacting with people?
    • Spending more time with people who may be infected increases your risk of becoming infected.
    • Spending more time with people increases their risk of becoming infected if there is any chance that you may already be infected.

Please visit US CDC's website for detailed information on this topic.

NEW: Check out this helpful document created by our team to assist you in keeping your outings "Safe and healthy" 

Hand washing is one of the most important ways you can keep from getting sick and spreading germs to others. It is a simple but mighty tool!  Soap destroys the virus, but we need to wash our hands for twenty seconds for it to work.

Follow these directions for hand washing.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Click here to watch a quick video on proper hand washing.
  • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Additional key times to clean hands include:
    After using the restroom
    Before eating or preparing food
    After contact with animals or pets
    Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g. a child)

We all need to do our part to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Social distancing is very important during this time.  Social distancing, simply put, means keeping space between yourself and others.

Even if you are young, or otherwise healthy, you are at risk and what you do can increase the risks for others.  

Here's what to do now:

  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Keep at least 6 ft. of space between yourself and others who are not in your household.  Six feet is about the same as the height of a refrigerator.
  • Limit visitors to your home.
  • Avoid group settings or crowds. Right now, no more than 10 people should gather at a time.
  • If you do need to go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
  • Be sure you have enough medication and other supplies to stay at home.

Social distancing outdoors is very important, too.

  • Keep 6 feet apart
  • Avoid hugging or shaking hands with anyone who is not a close contact or household member
  • Keep group sizes small
  • Don't meet up with other groups
  • Avoid an outdoor area if it looks busy, and go somewhere else.

The President has released the following guidelines to slow the spread of the disease.

15 Days to Slow the Spread

Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.

Work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible.

Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people. 

Avoid eating or drinking at bars or restaurants.  Use drive-thru, pick up, or delivery options.

Do not visit nursing homes, retirement, or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.

Practice good hygiene. 

  • Wash your hands, especially after touching any frequently used items or surfaces
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue, and then throw the tissue away.  Or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.

Click here for more information about THE PRESIDENT'S CORONAVIRUS GUIDELINES FOR AMERICA.

Continue to check this section for updated guidance from Patty Hamilton, APRN, and Maine CDC, as the guidance for our state and local community may change based on local conditions.

The City of Bangor has a variety of parks, trails, play structures, courts and open spaces citizens can visit to stay active.  The City recommends the following guidelines to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

  • If you are sick or tested positive for COVID-19, were recently exposed (within 14 days) to someone with COVID-19 or don’t feel well, do not visit public areas including our parks and/or recreational facilities.
  • Please bring hand sanitizer with you to use before and after contact with equipment or structures. COVID-19 can be spread when children touch contaminated objects and then touch their face. New hand sanitizer stations will be installed for use very soon.
  • Masks should not be worn during physical exercise. Please wear a mask or cloth face covering if you are not exercising and cannot maintain physical distancing. Masks should not be placed on anyone under the age of two, anyone with difficulty breathing or who cannot remove the mask without assistance.
  • The CDC continues to identify team sport activities as a higher risk activity for the spread of COVID-19. Large, full court game play is not recommended as this is considered a higher risk activity for the spread of COVID-19.  One on one sports such as tennis are lower risk as are smaller, skill based, activities. The City recommends using basketball courts with the following guidelines: cover coughs or sneezes using the inside of the elbow or a tissue, throw the tissue away after use. No spitting. Avoid touching your face after handling the ball. Do not make physical contact with other players. Do not congregate in large groups. If you arrive and the court is crowded choose another court.

Download the Tips for Physical Distancing poster, provided by the National Recreation and Park Association.

During these uncertain times, you may be wondering if it is safe to go outside, or even permitted during the stay-at-home order.  We want to reassure you that being outdoors in our local community is not only safe, but very positive for all of us, especially right now.

Spending time outside is good for your mind and body.
All reliable health sources agree that it is safe to go outside for fresh air and exercise.
Being outdoors helps us stay active. It also helps with stress and anxiety.
You are allowed to go out for fresh air and exercise, even during the stay-at-home order.
There are many safe activities that you can do.
Try to find something to do outside, each day.
Walking, bike riding, bird watching, gardening, enjoying time with close family, or saying hello to a neighbor are some ideas.

To stay safe outside:

  • Keep 6 feet away from others.
  • Stay close to home. This means your yard, your neighborhood, or a local park or trail.
  • Don't use playground or park equipment.

Parks and trails in the City of Bangor are open. There is a lot of space to enjoy!

Download the Getting Outside poster.

Download the Use and Care of Cloth Masks instruction sheet.

Staying home and social distancing are still the best ways to protect yourself and others. However, US CDC now recommends the additional, voluntary step of wearing a cloth face covering when you must visit public places, such as the grocery store or pharmacy.

Wearing a mask helps protect others. You can have, or pass on COVID-19 without having any symptoms. That’s why wearing a mask, even if you don’t feel sick can be a good idea. If you have a job in a public setting, wearing a mask while at work may provide an even bigger benefit to the community, because of the number of people you encounter in a day.

Cloth face coverings are not limited to masks. Bandannas, no-sew coverings made from t-shirts, and buffs are all good options!

How to Wear a Mask

Masks should -
• fit snugly but comfortably against the side of your face
• be secured with ties or ear loops
• include multiple layers of fabric
• allow you to breathe without restriction
• be able to be machine-washed and dried without damage or
change to shape

People should continue to practice social distancing, keeping 6 feet apart and
washing hands/using hand sanitizer frequently.

Removing a Mask

When removing a mask or face covering, be careful not to touch your eyes,
nose, or mouth. Wash hands immediately after removing.

Cleaning Masks

Cloth face coverings should be machine-washed and dried at home after each use with usual laundering practices. If you have a mesh bag, laundering inside the bag is recommended.

Additional CDC Info on Cloth Face Coverings

Coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove their own mask.

View instructions on how to make cloth masks. If you plan to sew masks, we recommend the use of cloth ties, as elastic or rubber can break down with frequent laundering.

 

Gold Star Cleaners and Records Management Center have teamed up to collect and clean donated cloth masks for our community.

Donated masks will be re-distributed to community members and organizations free-of-charge.

If you would like to donate cloth masks, please drop them off at Gold Star Cleaners on 220 Union St. in Bangor between the hours of 7:30 am and 8:00 pm.  Records Management has donated the drop box for collection. Gold Star has graciously offered to launder each mask.

US CDC has provided instructions on how to make cloth masks.  Both hand-sewn and no-sew options are included.  If you plan to sew masks, for yourself or to donate, we recommend using cloth ties, as elastic or rubber bands may break down with frequent laundering. However, using the materials you have on-hand is the best strategy. Do not worry about ordering specialty fabrics or supplies.

Download the Everyday Cleaning and Disinfecting handout.

US CDC recommends daily cleaning and disinfecting of regularly touched areas like: tables, doorknobs, light switches, counter tops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.

The first step is to clean surfaces if they are dirty. Use detergent or soap and water for this part of the job.

Next, it's time to disinfect.

To disinfect:
Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.

Options include:

  • Diluting your household bleach.
    To make a bleach solution, mix:

    • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
      OR
    • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water. Follow manufacturer’s instructions on how to apply and how much fresh air (ventilation) is needed. Check to ensure the bleach is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
  • Alcohol solutions.
    Make sure the solution has at least 70% alcohol.
  • Other common EPA-registered household disinfectants.
    Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).

Click here for detailed disinfecting directions.

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Call your doctor:  If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

US CDC has added a Self Checker to their symptoms web page to help you make decisions and seek appropriate medical care.

Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

 

 

If you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19, follow these steps from US CDC:

Download the Managing Respiratory Symptoms at Home fact sheet. 

  1. Stay home from work, school, and away from other public places. If you must go out, avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis.
  2. Monitor your symptoms carefully. If your symptoms get worse, call your healthcare provider immediately.
  3. Get rest and stay hydrated.
  4. If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider ahead of time and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19.
  5. For medical emergencies, call 911 and notify the dispatch personnel that you have or may have COVID-19.
  6. Cover your cough and sneezes.
  7. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  8. As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. If you need to be around other people in or outside of the home, wear a facemask.
  9. Avoid sharing personal items with other people in your household, like dishes, towels, and bedding
  10. Clean all surfaces that are touched often, like counters, tabletops, and doorknobs. Use household cleaning sprays or wipes according to the label instructions.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

 

If someone in your home is sick, disinfecting and safely dealing with dishes, laundry, and trash will help protect others.  Follow the US CDC directions to disinfect your home.

Several local dentists are available for emergencies, even though they are closed for routine appointments.

Click here for a list of dentists including information about which ones accept MaineCare (and other insurance) and who will see people who aren't their established patients.  List sorted by extractions, general dentists, and children's dentists.

Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Managing stress and anxiety during this time is important for all of us.  Taking care of our mental health goes along with taking care of our physical health.

This list of resources to manage stress and anxiety was compiled by our friends at Casco Bay CAN.  It has great information for adults and youth.

As always, make sure you're getting enough sleep, eating nutritious foods, and getting exercise. Those actions support our physical and mental health, too.

We all have mental health, and it's okay to talk about.  Let's continue to support each other during this time.

We'll continue to update this area with new information.

The Maine Council on Aging has put together this handout on how to make safe deliveries for a
vulnerable community member during COVID-19.

Thanks to all who are volunteering to get food and supplies to others in our community.

 

Are you looking for a way to help your friends and neighbors? The United Way of Eastern Maine has established THE COVID-19 VOLUNTEER RESPONSE SITE to assist community organizations in our area.

Schools are working hard to make sure students have access to food during this time.

Bangor School Dept student meals may be picked up Monday - Friday between 12-1 pm from any of the following schools: Abraham Lincoln, Downeast, Vine, Fairmount, and Doughty, Corner of Bolling and Mitchell; 979 Essex St (Holiday MHP); Cameron Stadium Mt Hope parking lot; Bangor Tire on Market St; Ranger Inn. Time is 12-1, same as the Abraham Lincoln, Vine Street, Downeast, Fairmount, and Doughty school sites.

In the event that someone cannot get transportation to a site, please call your child’s school and they will see what they can do to transport to you.

Please check the Bangor School Dept FaceBook page and website for updates to this information.  If you do not live in Bangor, please check your students' school website and Facebook pages for meal site information.

Get the latest public health information, directly from the following sources:

Maine CDC

The following guide provides basic work place, school, home, and commercial establishment hygiene, cleaning and work-flow information.

Quick Guide

Learn how to prepare and take action. Click to review the comprehensive tool kits created by US CDC.

At Home

Homeless Shelters

Community & Faith Settings

Schools and Childcare

Businesses & Employers

Events and Gatherings

WIC and Immunization/Travel/STD Clinics are now open by appointment!