Nasson Health Care reports increased COVID-19 Testing–Portland Press Herald
Testing capacity ‘crunched’ in some areas as demand increases, COVID-19 cases surge
by Kevin Miller, Staff Writer
Portland Press Herald
Some Mainers are waiting for days to get COVID-19 testing appointments, as infections continue to surge and more people seek a clean bill of health before holiday travels.
Those with symptoms of COVID-19 generally face little to no delay obtaining tests, but the situation is different for some asymptomatic Mainers hoping to take advantage of free testing at the state-affiliated “swab-and-send” sites.
Testing locations in Portland, Bangor and elsewhere were booking appointments for next week – or later – as of Wednesday, and even some private testing providers were reporting peak demand this week. Meanwhile, clinic staff members are also seeing higher numbers of potentially exposed people seeking tests, as COVID-19 infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths hit record highs in Maine and across the country.
“We’re swamped,” said Martin Sabol, director of health services at Nasson Health Care at York County Community Action Corp., which conducted 47 tests during the last week of October but 179 tests last week. “After a relatively slow late summer or early fall, demand for the service has really increased in the past two or three weeks.”
The Sanford clinic was “booked solid” on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week as well as next Monday but, Sabol added, “We are trying to keep up with demand.”