To the Editor:
The expected surge in COVID-19 has clearly started on Mount Desert Island, in Maine and across the nation. Hospitalizations for COVID in Maine have doubled over the past few weeks and there is widespread transmission in our community.
Individuals can do several things to protect themselves and their loved ones. If you are not yet vaccinated, get vaccinated. Infection with prior variants only gives weak protection against current strains.
If you are vaccinated, but not boosted, get boosted. This has been shown to increase protection against serious illness. This is true even if you have been previously infected.
Wear a well-fitting, preferably medical-grade or N-rated mask in enclosed public spaces. If you want the best protection, avoid unventilated places where many persons are unmasked, if possible.
If you are visiting someone who is frail and at increased risk, or visiting an assisted living facility or nursing home, consider home testing before you go. If you are feeling sick: Do not go to work, school or to visit with others without testing to make sure you do not have COVID.
If you are infected and you are elderly, pregnant or otherwise at high risk, you may be a candidate for early treatment with oral antiviral treatment or intravenous monoclonal antibody therapy, both of which can reduce your risk of hospitalization and death.
If you are at increased risk and have tested positive for COVID or are experiencing symptoms, contact your provider’s office to discuss early treatment options.
MDI Hospital and Health Centers have a variety of treatment options available for those at increased risk of severe disease. The best way to obtain prompt treatment is to notify your provider as soon as you have had a positive test or develop symptoms.
J.R. Krevans Jr., M.D.
Chair of Infection Control