Maine needs to immediately develop a strategic testing and tracing plan, targeting a testing and tracing capability of 5,000 a day and options to ramp to 10,000 and 15,000, respectively.

I have provided Gov. Mills an outline for a testing maximization of Maine’s government and nongovernment labs. A similar effort should be undertaken for tracing resources and systems.

With the May 11 announcement by the federal government that supplies are available to test 2 percent of the population in May and June and 100 percent of long-term care facility residents, now is well past the time to build our capacity. Please set bold goals to build and execute a viable plan to test 5,000, 10,000 and 15,000 a day.

As a check of the Mills administration’s performance, ask Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Nirav Shah and his testing expert:

• How many tests, post Idexx certification, can the Maine CDC run 24/7? Are we running 24/7? If not, why not?

• How many RNA/PCR tests can all nongovernment and federal labs in Maine run per day 24/7? Are we running that? If not, why not?

• What daily test capacity (the running of tests on their equipment) have we contracted with Idexx, Quest, LabCorp, Jackson Laboratory and other regional and national labs? If none, what is their available capacity and service level (hours from sample arrival to result)?

Maine has no strategy to maximize RNA testing. Where is the Press Herald in demanding this for the people of Maine? The safe reopening depends on expanded testing and Maine deserves better.

Gary Vincent

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