Re: “Testing option not enough to save Maine tourism industry, groups say” (June 8):

Relaxing restrictions on out-of-state visitors while emphasizing the need for coronavirus (COVID-19) testing is a good middle ground to protect Mainers’ health and livelihoods. Unfortunately, that plan hinges on out-of-staters being able to access tests before they come, and the Trump administration is winding down its national efforts on testing.

Although experts say there could be a spike in COVID-19 cases as states, including Maine, reopen, the Trump administration is closing shop on its response efforts. The testing chief, Adm. Brett Giroir, M.D., is leaving that role this month with no replacement, although we still don’t have the comprehensive, widespread testing needed to quickly track, trace and contain future outbreaks.

That means that out-of-staters hoping to vacation in Maine this summer might not be able to get a test before they come, jeopardizing our state’s strategy to safely reopen.

Maine’s U.S. senators should push Senate leadership to move quickly on its next coronavirus package – and make sure that it includes efforts to expand and coordinate comprehensive testing nationally.

Matthew Wellington

director, public health campaigns, U.S. PIRG

Portland

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