YCCAC and COVID-19: Updates

We are actively responding to COVID-19 in our communities, and we are here to help you in any way we can. This page provides updates on YCCAC programs and services, as well as current information from the Maine CDC. Please return to this site often, as it is updated regularly.
Click here for the latest updates

ARTICLES LISTED BY PROGRAM

Children’s Services (Head Start and Early Head Start)
Head Start and Early Head Start Response to COVID-19 

Energy Services
It’s Not Too Late to Apply for HEAP Assistance
Work Situation Changed? You May Be Eligible For HEAP Benefits

Economic Opportunity
York County Community Action to Administer COVID-19 Rent Relief Program
Homebuyer Education Classes Go Online 
Community Outreach Workers on the Job, Ready to Help
Free Tax Prep Services Suspended Until Further Notice

Health Services (Nasson Health Care)
Stay Safe, But Also Stay Active 
Managing COVID-19 Stress

Transportation
Most YCCAC Transportation Services Back to Regular Operations

WIC Nutrition Services
WIC Now Offering Services by Phone

Other Articles
When can I reunite with family members and friends?
To keep workers safe, tie a ribbon ’round that old … Clynk bag? (PPH)
Coronavirus outbreak: Where to turn for help (PPH)
Kittery Centralizes Financial Help During Pandemic (Seacoast Online)
Coronavirus How To: Use a Face Mask or Cloth Covering Properly (PPH)
 
Light Up the Night (Brick Store Museum)
What Steps Can We Take to Reduce Anxiety in These Unsettling Times? (PPH)

State of Maine
Maine Expands Contact Tracing to Limit the Spread of COVID-19
Mills Administration Updates Plan to Restart Maine’s Economy
Maine Eliminates Testing Prioritization; Expands Testing to Anyone Suspected of Having COVID-19
Governor Mills Extends State of Civil Emergency As Maine Continues to Combat COVID-19
Mills Administration Secures Major COVID-19 Testing Expansion for Maine
Governor’s order will require everyone to wear face masks in public places, starting Friday 
Here are the dates when businesses and public spaces can reopen
Governor Mills Presents Safe, Gradual Plan to Restart Maine’s Economy
2019 Novel Coronavirus — (COVID-19) —Updates and Information
Governor Mills Issues Executive Order Moving Primary Election to July 14

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Latest Updates

June 5
Most YCCAC Transportation Services Back to Regular Operations

June 4
The COVID-19 Rent Relief Program Extended Through the Month of June
It’s Not Too Late to Apply for HEAP Assistance

May 26
Maine Expands Contact Tracing to Limit the Spread of COVID-19

May 19
Mills Administration Updates Plan to Restart Maine’s Economy

May 18
CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update May 18

Maine Eliminates Testing Prioritization; Expands Testing to Anyone Suspected of Having COVID-19
Expanded testing resulting from IDEXX agreement is now operational, allowing Maine health care providers to test more people beginning today

Governor Janet Mills announced today that the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) has eliminated its testing prioritization system and is now allowing health care providers in Maine to seek testing for anyone they suspect of having COVID-19.

The elimination of the system is primarily driven by the Mills Administration’s agreement with IDEXX that more than triples the State’s texting capacity. That expansion is now operational, allowing Maine CDC to notify health care providers today of significantly increased access to in-state testing for anyone suspected of having the disease, which includes people with symptoms as well as those who have had significant, close contact with a person with COVID-19, such as a spouse.

When can I reunite with family members and friends?
Dr. Dora Anne Mills, chief health improvement officer at MaineHealth, offers some advice on this and other questions.

By Gillian Graham, Staff Writer
Portland Press Herald

Part of an occasional series answering readers’ questions about Maine.

After two months of social distancing from loved ones, many Mainers are wondering when they can get together with family, hug their grandchildren and let their children play with friends.

Those questions aren’t easy ones. So we asked an expert.

Under the governor’s safer-at-home order, gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited and people are still encouraged to keep their distance from one another and use face coverings. But while the state’s reopening plan focuses on businesses and public services, there has been less official guidance on when it will be OK to start socializing with people outside of your household, and how to reunite safely.

Dr. Dora Anne Mills is chief health improvement officer at MaineHealth and a former Maine CDC director who, by the way, happens to be the sister of Gov. Janet Mills. She also has become someone many Mainers have looked to for straightforward advice.

We asked her to tackle some common reader questions about social distancing.

May 13
CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update May 13

Governor Mills Extends State of Civil Emergency As Maine Continues to Combat COVID-19

May 13, 2020

As the State continues to respond to COVID-19, Governor Janet Mills today signed a proclamation extending Maine’s state of civil emergency for thirty days through June 11, 2020. This will be Governor Mills’ second extension of the State of Civil Emergency.

According to the National Governors Association, all States and Territories, including those in New England, have ongoing emergency declarations. The Governor’s proclamation comes as other governors across the nation also extend their respective states of emergency. Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced earlier this week he intends to renew his state of emergency as well.

The State of Civil Emergency allows state government to deploy all available resources to protect the health and safety of Maine people and to respond quickly and as-needed to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Mills. “It also allows us to continue to draw critical Federal resources that help us equip frontline workers with needed protective equipment and to use Federal resources to support the State’s response.”

A State of Civil Emergency in part enables Maine’s access to critical federal aid to boost response efforts. The State of Emergency proclamation is separate and distinct from the Governor’s Executive Orders and from the Restarting Maine’s Economy plan. The Governor’s Executive Orders and the Restarting Maine’s Economy plan remain in effect and unchanged

May 12
CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update May 12

Governor Mills Introduces Rural Reopening Plan
Plan will allow for reopening of certain businesses in rural Maine with safety precautions, timeline aligns with neighboring New Hampshire

Governor Janet Mills today announced a rural reopening plan aimed at reopening certain additional businesses in rural Maine over the course of the next two weeks with added health and safety measures. The plan comes after Governor Mills stated last week that her Administration was considering opportunities for regional variation as part of its Restarting Maine’s Economy plan. It also follows the announcement of a partnership with IDEXX Laboratories that will more than triple the State’s testing capacity.
FULL ARTICLE

May 7
CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update May 7

Mills Administration Secures Major COVID-19 Testing Expansion for Maine
State of Maine partners with IDEXX to more than triple its testing capacity

Governor Janet Mills announced today that her Administration has secured a major expansion of COVID-19 testing for the State of Maine. The Administration has partnered with Maine-based IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. to purchase enough of the company’s recently authorized COVID-19 testing kits to more than triple the State’s testing capacity. The breakthrough will soon allow anyone in Maine suspected of having COVID-19 to receive a test.
IDEXX, a worldwide leader in animal diagnostics, also has deep expertise in human diagnostics through its human health business, OPTI Medical Systems. Earlier today, IDEXX announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted OPTI Medical Systems an Emergency Use Authorization for IDEXX’s OPTI SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR laboratory test kit for the detection of the 2019 novel coronavirus. The Mills Administration is purchasing enough of these test kits to run at least 5,000 tests per week for the foreseeable future.
READ MORE

May 6
CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update May 6

COVID-19 Response: Office of the Governor
Maine Helps

Fred Rogers – Mr. Rogers – said, “When I was young and I would see scary things on the news, my mother would say, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Maine people are helpers, and they are everywhere. They are our doctors, nurses, EMS, firefighters, police officers, grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, child care workers, government employees.

They are you, they are your neighbor, they are your loved ones. They are Maine people.

READ MORE

May 4
CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (CPVID-19) Update May 4

May 1
CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update May 1

April 30
Mainers may have limited access to dental services under reopening
The Maine Dental Association says only emergency care can be given during the first phase of Gov. Janet Mills’ reopening plan for coronavirus, so preventive and other routine care may be delayed further.

Governor’s order will require everyone to wear face masks in public places, starting Friday
The new executive order means that people will have to wear face coverings in places including grocery stores, pharmacies, playgrounds and congested parking lots, and on public transportation.

April 29

Here are the dates when businesses and public spaces can reopen (PPH, April 29)
The plan to reopen Maine would be done in phases from Friday through the summer.

April 28
Maine CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update April 28

Governor Mills Presents Safe, Gradual Plan to Restart Maine’s Economy
Governor will extend stay-at-home order with modifications to allow for activities and business operations deemed safe

April 27
Maine CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update April 27

April 24
Maine CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update April 24

April 22
Maine CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update April 22

To keep workers safe, tie a ribbon ’round that old … Clynk bag? (PPH)
Clynk, one redemption operation still open during the pandemic, is asking customers to reduce risk to its workers by tying off bags and then waiting 3 days before dropping them off, signaling compliance by affixing ribbons or string.

Coronavirus outbreak: Where to turn for help
Information for Mainers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

April 17
Maine CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update April 17

York County Community Action to Administer Local Rent Relief Program for People Affected by COVID-19

York County Community Action Corporation is joining nine other Maine Community Action Agencies in administering funds from the COVID Rent Relief Program, which is for renters who cannot afford to pay their rent due to circumstances related to the Coronavirus pandemic. The program is designed to provide a one-time bridge payment of up to $500 for rent until households get stimulus and unemployment funds they need. The applicant is the renter and the benefit is paid directly to the landlord. If the landlord agrees to participate in the program, the landlord is postponing the balance of the payment, not forgiving it.

Governor Janet Mills announced launch of the program on Thursday, April 16, according to Maine Community Action Association Executive Director Megan Hannan.

“The Governor knows that with unemployment or reduced income comes significant financial hardships, including paying the rent,” said YCCAC Executive Director Barbara Crider. “As we see Mainers adapting to the Stay at Home mandate, to flatten the curve of the Coronavirus, we are here to help ensure they have a home in which to stay.”

MaineHousing is funding the program using $5 million from the Housing Opportunities for Maine (HOME) Fund, after the Governor asked them for a plan to protect Mainers. The Community Action Agencies, who partner with MaineHousing on a number of programs, are well positioned to turn around the funds to pay landlords quickly. CAAs have made staffing flexible to assist with this program and ensure that the funds are disbursed without delay.

The COVID-19 Rent Relief Program does not act as full payment if rent is higher than $500, but is a bridge to other programs until they begin; however, landlords who accept the funds agree not to evict the tenants for that month. Households are eligible if they earn up to 100% of the state median income* and are not already in another subsidized program, which have other alternatives for rental payments.

The program is structured to get money to people who need it as quickly as possible through a streamlined application process. Applicants apply online at mainehousing.org/covidrent or they can call their local Community Action Agencies if they don’t have access to the internet or if they have questions about the program.  CAA staff are also available to connect people to other programs for which they are eligible or newly eligible, including heating programs which were recently adjusted to respond to this crisis, and /or SNAP nutrition programs, and a host of other programs administered by local CAAs.

Since the order to stay home and to close schools, CAAs have continued many programs in person and virtually. Head Start and Early Head Start families continue to receive two or three nutritious meals daily; heating assistance applications are being processed and fuel is being delivered; some transportation programs continue for both medical and non-medical needs. In York County, Head Start and Early Head Start teachers are working remotely with families and children. We are also offering online Homebuyer Education classes; providing WIC services through phone appointments; and maintaining Community Outreach services, also through phone contact.

*State Median Income Guidelines

 

1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person 5 Person 6 Person 7 Person 8 Person
$3,696 $4,833 $5,971 $7,108 $8,245 $9,382 $9,596 $9,809

 

April 13
Maine CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update April 13, 2020

Light Up The Night!
From The Brick Store Museum

“We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light a candle that can guide us through the darkness to a safe and sure future.” – John F. Kennedy, 1960

Our nation has a long history of placing a candle, flag, or other object in our windows to signify national solidarity. Dating back to colonial times, candles in the window signaled a welcome to travelers; during the Civil War, it was a beacon to war-weary sons to find their ways home. Still today, families of servicemembers hang blue or gold star flags to signify their loved ones are far from home. In 2001, community members hung American flags of all sizes from their windows, doors, and flagpoles to come together after incredible tragedy.

The Brick Store Museum’s mission is to be the spark that ignites personal connections to local history, art and culture.  In this new era of a national pandemic, we invite you to join us in a simple project that will bring light to our entire community.

Essential workers – health care workers, grocers, first responders, child care workers, utility technicians, school staff, custodians, truck drivers, defense personnel, and so many more – are putting themselves at risk to protect, serve and provide for our community and our nation.
Let’s thank them.

For those at home: It’s okay to feel scared, isolated, sad, angry or confused. One of the most important things history can do is to help us recognize we are a part of something greater than ourselves – that none of us are alone in our experiences. We can join together and do something to increase the moral of our entire community.

Let’s stand together.

Light a (electric-powered) candle, string light, lamp, or any kind of light in your window each evening at dusk, starting now through the end of this pandemic. Let’s all come together over our thanks – and show what community is all about. Whether you are on the front lines to serve or staying home to slow the spread: we are in this together – and we’ll see it through to the end.

Let’s LIGHT UP THE NIGHT!

April 10, 2020
Maine CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update April 10, 2020

Coronavirus how-to: Use a face mask or cloth covering properly
Protect others by covering up when you’re out in public.

By Katherine Lee
Portland Press Herald, April 8, 2020

Now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised people to use face coverings when they are out in public to slow the spread of the coronavirus, people are trying to buy, sew or otherwise MacGyver their own.

The CDC advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to help people who may have the virus but don’t know it yet from transmitting it to others. When people talk, cough or sneeze they may release tiny drops into the air that can infect others. If people are sick, face masks can reduce the number of germs they release, and protect others from becoming sick. A face mask also protects the wearer’s nose and mouth from splashes or sprays of body fluids.

It’s important to remember that the mask is mainly intended to protect others against you, not to protect you against others. Don’t be lulled into thinking that if you put on a mask, you’re covered from catching the virus entirely. It may provide some protection, but the best way to avoid infection is to distance yourself from others when you’re out, or just stay home. And no matter what, wash your hands.

The CDC does NOT recommend people try to acquire N95 respirators or surgical masks, which are critical supplies that need to be prioritized for healthcare workers and medical first responders. The kinds of masks recommended by the CDC are those you can make yourself, or the disposable kind you can buy online.

HOW TO PUT ON A FACE MASK
If you use a mask with loops, ties or bands that go around your head or ears, it’s important that you put it on and take it off properly to keep from exposing yourself to anything that might be on the mask. Here’s a few tips from the San Francisco CDC website:

• Use a disposable face mask once, then throw it away. Do likewise if the mask becomes moist.
• Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before touching the mask.
• Make sure the mask has no tears or holes.
• Find the top: The side of the mask that has a stiff, bendable edge is the top and is meant to mold to the shape of your nose.
• Find the front: The colored side of the mask is usually the front and should face away from you.
• For a face mask with ear loops, hold the mask by the loops and put a loop around each ear.
• For a mask with ties, bring the mask to nose level, put the ties around the crown of your head and tie with a bow. Then take the bottom ties, one in each hand, and secure with a bow at the nape of your neck.
• For a mask with bands around your head, hold it in your hand with the nose or top of the mask at your fingertips, with the bands hanging. Bring the mask to nose level and pull the top strap over your head, resting it over the crown of your head. Pull the bottom band over your head and rest it at the nape of your neck.

HOW TO REMOVE A FACE MASK
• Wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before touching the mask.
• Don’t touch the front of the mask – that’s the contaminated part. Only touch the loops, ties or bands.
• For a mask with ear loops: Hold both of the loops and gently lift and remove the mask.
• For a mask with ties: Untie the bottom bow first, then untie the top bow and pull the mask away from you as the ties are loosened.
• For a mask with bands: Lift the bottom strap over your head first, then pull the top strap over your head.
• Throw the mask in the trash. Don’t re-use it.
• Wash your hands again with soap and water or hand sanitizer.

HOW TO USE A CLOTH FACE COVERING
Whether you make a cotton covering or use a scarf or bandana, here are tips from the U.S. CDC on wearing a cloth face covering. The CDC recommends wearing a face covering in settings where it may be difficult to distance yourself, like inside stores or pharmacies:

• It should fit snugly but feel comfortable on your face.
• It should be secured with a tie or ear loops.
• It should include several layers of fabric.
• It should let you breathe without restriction.
• You should be able to launder and machine-dry it without damaging it or changing its shape:
• Do not put a face covering on a child younger than 2, or on anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to take the mask off on their own.

April 9
Maine CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update April 9, 2020

Kittery centralizes financial help during pandemic
Seacoastonline.com
By Hadley Barndollar
April 8, 2020

KITTERY, Maine – The players making up Kittery’s “social safety net” have designed a central point of access for individuals seeking assistance during the coronavirus pandemic.

People who find themselves struggling financially should call (207) 439-2699, the York County Community Action office in Kittery. Individuals will then be referred to proper services.

The effort is comprised of End 68 Hours of Hunger, Fair Tide Housing, Footprints Food Pantry, Fuel & More, Meals on Wheels, Table of Plenty, York County Community Action, York Hospital, Mary Safford Wildes Trust and the town of Kittery.

These entities address an array of needs, including food access, transportation, medical care, case work and housing. “If you’re already in a difficult position trying to find services, having to call this one for this and that one for that, that adds additional stress and can see people fall through the cracks,” said Town Manager Kendra Amaral.

Amaral said the organizations had been working together and with the town to further bolster the “safety net” and streamlined access to resources, so when the health emergency hit, they were already closely connected with similar goals in mind.

“We immediately sent out to everyone, ‘Alright let’s work together,’ because we know it’s going to impact the residents in a way we haven’t seen,” Amaral said.

Once individuals contact the YCCAC Kittery office, cases will then be shared between YCCAC and Fair Tide’s case managers, who will connect them to available resources.

“We came together as social service agencies in Kittery with the intention of creating an easy, user friendly way to access assistance in the midst of this crisis,” said Fair Tide Executive Director Emily Flinkstrom. “We have created a common application to be used to request financial assistance from multiple agencies who have funds set aside for this purpose. The application will be sent out from the case manager to the agencies, taking the onus off of the household to contact several different organizations and share their story several times over. This will make for a more efficient and streamlined process for those who need it.”
Flinkstrom said while officials have not yet seen a major uptick in calls, “we know the wave will come.”
“There are so many households who live on the margins and through losing any amount of income will be unable to pay their bills,” she said. “On top of that, many households who did have some savings will see it depleted as this pandemic persists.”

Fair Tide specifically has an emergency fund for people requiring assistance in order to meet their basic needs. Donations can be made at fairtide.org/donate.

Volunteers at Footprints Food Pantry, which is seeing increased demand, are keeping proper social distance by having clients remain in their vehicles on pick-up days, while they’re brought pre-packed items. The pantry has also been soliciting for toilet paper donations. People can email sharethesquares@gmail.com, and pantry volunteers will come pick up the toilet paper.

This week, the town also launched a “Kittery Together” volunteer form, allowing residents to sign up to donate supplies, food items or volunteer hours.

“Kittery is a generous, caring community that has a knack for coming together in times of need,” the town announced on its website. “We understand that people are looking to help each other in meaningful ways during this emergency.”

Amaral said as of Wednesday, they’d received nearly 30 responses. She’d already connected one woman who sought to sew masks for first responders with Police Chief Robert Richter.

“We’re working it as we go, but I think it’s already being helpful,” she said.

The “Kittery Together” volunteer form can be accessed at kitteryme.gov.

April 8
Maine CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update April 8, 2020

Virtual meetings available for those recovering from addictions
When people are recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction — what health experts call “substance use disorder” — it’s essential to have a community and accountability.

But those can be hard to come by during a time of stay-at-home orders and social distancing, when people can’t gather for regular Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Sadness, fear, anger, frustration and stress can lead to relapse. And isolation can make addictive behaviors worse.

That’s why people in recovery need help now more than ever. And one way to continue the recovery process during the coronavirus pandemic is by way of virtual resources.

Virtual AA and NA meetings can be found at Maine AA and Maine NA. The sites list dates and times of meetings, and provide access to valuable information about dealing with substance use disorder in this time of COVID-19.

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other so that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking

Maine Narcotics Anonymous is a fellowship of recovering drug addicts who have come together to solve their common problem of addiction.

April 7
Maine CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update April 7, 2020

Maine Equal Justice and Pine Tree Legal Assistance have helpful information for those at risk of eviction, foreclosure and utility disconnects during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as information about applying for unemployment and other benefits. YCCAC staff are always available to help as well! Call us at 207-324-5762, or email: info@yccac.org.

Stay Safe, But Also Stay Active

Getting physical exercise, if only by taking a short walk, is important during this time of “sheltering in place” and “social distancing.” The physical movement itself can help relieve stress, promote better sleep, and boost your overall mood.

An article published in the Courier/Post on April 2nd defines “recreation” under Maine’s stay-at home order:

Maine Inland Fisheries Wildlife officials say engaging in outdoor exercise such as fishing, hunting, hiking, boating, walking, running, and more are permitted under the executive order issued by Gov. Janet Mills, just as long as people continue to follow social distancing guidelines.

“Getting outside to go fishing, hiking, canoeing, scouting for a hunt, or other outdoor activities are essential to not only your physical health, but your mental health as well, particularly during these difficult times,” said Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner Judy Camuso. “The governor and I continue to encourage people to get outdoors, but to do as close to home as possible and in strict adherence to physical distancing requirements. While it is important for your mental health to get outside, it is also important to do so safely.”

Over at the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, officials noted some conservation lands and beaches have been closed, due to recent overuse and crowding, but others remain open. People can check what’s open and what isn’t at https://www.maine.gov/dacf/recreation/index.html

Whatever your activity, it is important to avoid crowds and to maintain social distancing—staying at least six feet away from other people. Maine Island Fisheries and Wildlife official also recommend that people “visit lesser known spots and explore close to home, stick to adventures within their experience and comfort level, tell someone you’re headed and when you expect to return.”

Homebuyer Education Classes Go Online

Social distancing in a classroom filled with students is hard to achieve. So YCCAC’s Homebuyer Education classes, which are held one or two times a month and facilitated by Homebuyer Education Coordinator Lee Sullivan, have gone online. The program is currently offering a time limited discount of $10 off per person (for a cost of $20), and $15 off per couple (for a cost of $35).

The webinars, like the traditional classroom sessions, are scheduled either full-day (9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) or, to accommodate those who prefer later hours, over three evening sessions (for instance, the next available class is April 27, 28 and 30, from 6:00 to 8:30 PM). The webinar schedules are designed to be accessible to anyone interested in becoming a homeowner.

The registration process is easy and takes only a few minutes to complete. Prospective homebuyers click a link that takes them to the Homebuyer Class Schedule. They select a date, and then enter the information requested. That’s all there is to it. Free pre-purchase counseling is available following the classes.

Contact Lee.Sullivan@yccac.org if you have any questions, or to obtain the discount code for the class.

April 2

Maine CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update April 2, 2020

Managing COVID-19 Stress

From Nasson Health Care’s Behavioral Health Team

Our behavioral health team here at Nasson Health Care understands the significant personal changes most people are experiencing in their lives due to COVID19.  The need to make important lifestyle changes has happened suddenly with little time to prepare. As a result many people’s lives have become significantly more stressful and isolating.

When stress is heightened due to sudden unexpected changes it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.  Frequently when this occurs the daily stressors that used to be more manageable are not. High levels of stress can result in mental health symptoms such as racing thoughts, anxiety, depression and mood swings. The physical symptoms that can occur with heightened stress are changes in sleep patterns, appetite, muscular tension and headaches just to name a few. Eventually increased stress will impact our overall sense of well being as well as our close relationships.

Our behavioral health team here at Nasson Health Care is working to ensure the community has ongoing access to our services during these challenging times. We are available to meet through scheduled phone sessions for behavioral health counseling. Also if you are an established patient here at Nasson but have not participated in behavioral health services before, feel free to contact us with questions or to schedule an appointment at 297-490-6900.

As part of supporting our community during this time the behavioral health team will be posting information on our website weekly.  The postings will include resources that are intended to support healthy self care recommendations and coping skills.  Below is a resource that is evidenced based and focuses on ways to soothe ourselves that is easy to learn.  When used on a daily basis these tools are helpful in managing some of these stressful symptoms and increasing our overall sense of well being during these stressful times.

The link provided below is meant to support individuals in managing overall levels of stress. This is not meant to take the place of medical advice by your primary care provider. This link is not for promotional purposes in regards to any advertisement being made on the Heartmath website.

https://www.heartmath.org/resources/

Be well,

From the Nasson Behavioral Health Team


YCCAC Transportation Response to COVID-19

To Our Community Members:

These are extraordinary times. The Governor’s Executive Order, which imposes strict restrictions on all Mainers, is a sobering reminder of the serious challenges we are facing.  In order to comply with the Governor’s Order, York County Community Action is making several changes to its Transportation schedule.  These difficult but prudent steps will allow us to continue to provide essential services while also helping keep our community and riders as safe as possible.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Effecting April 2nd and extending to April 30th, Sanford Transit, Orange Line, the Southern Maine Conductor, and all local rides have been suspended.

Our WAVE Service will continue to provide transportation to those who deliver essential services, such as health care, if they have no alternative transportation option. All fare charges on the WAVE will be waived through April 30th.

If you need transportation for an essential reason or for an essential job that cannot be done at home, please call us at 207-459-2932. We are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will respond to community transportation needs in the best way possible. We thank our loyal riders for their understanding as we all work through these challenging times.

APRIL 1

Maine CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update April 1, 2020

Surgeon General Social Distancing

Governor Mills Issues Stay Healthy at Home Mandate
0020 Also orders a series of additional requirements to protect public health and safety in the face of COVID-19

Governor Janet Mills today issued a series of substantial new mandates to protect public health and safety in the face of COVID-19, including a Stay Healthy at Home directive that requires people living in Maine to stay at home at all times unless for an essential job or an essential personal reason, such as obtaining food, medicine, health care, or other necessary purposes.
The Governor also mandated a series of other new restrictions, including:

• For essential businesses and operations that remain open, limiting the number of customers in their buildings at any one time, implementing curb-side pickup and delivery options as much as possible, and enforcing U.S. CDC-recommended physical distancing requirements for their customers and employees in and around their facilities.
• Prohibiting the use of public transportation unless for an essential reason or job that cannot be done from home and limiting the number of people traveling in private vehicles to persons within the immediate household unless transporting for essential activities.
• Mandating the continued termination of classroom or other in-person instruction until at least May 1, 2020.
• Mandating that, when out of the home or when at work at an essential business, individuals shall maintain a minimum distance of six feet from other persons.

The Executive Order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on April 2, 2020 and will last until at least April 30, 2020. The Governor may amend, rescind, or renew this timeline at her discretion. The Governor also extended the closure of restaurants and bars statewide for dine-in customers until at least April 30, 2020 to align with today’s Executive Order.

“We are in the midst of one of the greatest public health crises this world has seen in more than a century. This virus will continue to sicken people across our state; our cases will only grow, and more people will die. I say this to be direct, to be as honest with you as I can. Because saving lives will depend on us,” said Governor Mills. “I implore you – look to yourself, your family, your friends, your loved ones, your neighbors on the front lines, first responders and health care workers fighting the virus, those who can’t stay home; the children who live around the corner, the farmer who grows your food, the grocer and the pharmacist who sell you goods, the teachers who are missing their kids; the fisherman, the sailor, the truck driver, the janitor, the waitress at your favorite diner; these are the people you are protecting by staying home. This is who you are saving.” 

MARCH 31

Maine CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update March 31, 2020

MARCH 30

Maine CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update March 30, 2020

Work situation changed? You may be eligible for HEAP fuel assistance

York County residents who are no longer working due to the coronavirus pandemic, or who have had their work hours cut, may now be eligible for fuel assistance through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).

If your income has changed, as it has for many York County households, and you’re in need of fuel assistance or help paying a high energy bill, call 459-2950 to speak with a YCCAC fuel assistance intake specialist. Your HEAP application can be taken over the phone—no need to leave home.

Income guidelines have been modified thru May 1, 2020. Apply today!


MARCH 27

Maine CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update March 27, 2020

YCCAC’s Community Outreach workers are on the job, ready to help

York County Community Action’s Economic Opportunity Department has made some adjustments to its programs and services due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Community Outreach staff are still available to provide assistance to those in need.

Economic Opportunity Director Mesha Quinn says that the best way to schedule an appointment with an outreach worker is to call the Sanford office at 324-5762 or 800 644-4242. “You will be connected with an outreach staff member nearest to where you live,” Ms. Quinn says. There are outreach offices in Sanford, Biddeford and Kittery, and all offices are open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Outreach appointments can only be taken by phone, and there are no face-to-face meetings. This precaution adheres to Maine’s social distancing guidelines to safeguard health during the coronavirus pandemic. Persons who come to the Sanford office will be asked to call the Outreach office for further guidance.

“Resources are changing daily and we are here to help people maneuver through this difficult time,” Ms. Quinn says. “The more we know about the specific needs in our community, the better we can respond. Outreach workers are here and ready to provide assistance.”


Maine income tax filing deadline extended to July 15, matching federal tax filing extension
Maine Governor Janet Mills announced Thursday that Maine’s income tax filing will be extended to July 15. The Portland Press Herald reports that Mills announced the move as concern grew that Maine’s deadline was still April 15 even after the federal government extended its income tax filing deadline to July 15 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is my hope that moving back this deadline will help provide a measure of relief to Maine people who are struggling to make ends meet as a result of COVID-19,” Mills said in a statement. “The congressional actions in recent days make this move appropriate and practical.”


MARCH 26

Maine CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update, March 26, 2020

Live Coverage of the Maine CDC News Briefing. March 26, 2020

YCCAC’s “Buying Your First Home” class going online
As a practical health and safety measure, the Homebuyer Education classes are now being offered remotely, via Zoom. You can still register for the classes online. For additional information, please contact Homebuyer Education Coordinator Lee Sullivan at lee.sullivan@yccac.org or by phone at (207) 459-2961.

WIC now offering services by phone
Beginning March 23, 2020, all YCCAC WIC services will be delivered by phone appointment to align with social distancing efforts in Maine. WIC clients can call the WIC program office in Sanford (459-2942) or Biddeford (283-2402) to arrange pick up or mail delivery of WIC vouchers. Infant formula can be picked up at the WIC program offices through phone appointment. WIC clients in need of breast pumps and special infant formula prescribed by a physician can also arrange for pick up of these items. Home delivery can be arranged for infant formula not available in stores and breast pumps, if necessary.


MARCH 24

Maine CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update, March 24, 2020

Governor Mills Orders Further Steps to Protect Public Health


MARCH 20


M
aine CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update, March 20, 2020

Message from Rhianna Meadows, DO, Nasson Health Care Medical Director

How to Wash Your Hands


MARCH 19

Maine CDC Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Update, March 19, 2020

Update on Social Security Services During COVID – 19 Pandemic

YCCAC Transportation Program Helps Community During Coronavirus Pandemic

What Steps Can We Take to Reduce Anxiety in These Unsettling Times?

Restaurants can offer Take-Out, Delivery & Drive-thru ONLY, March 18 through March 31, 2020
Governor Janet Mills has issued an Executive Order mandating that all restaurants and bars statewide close to dine-in customers effective March 18, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. for a period of 14 days, until midnight, March 31, 2020.

Take-out, delivery, and drive-through options can continue. In her order, the Governor also prohibited all gatherings of more than 10 people until further notice, mandating the latest U.S. CDC’s guidance on gatherings.


MARCH 18

Using Our Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC): Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)

Biddeford School Dept. Breakfast & Lunch Curbside Pickup