Maine has been requiring people who come from many other states either to be tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their arrival or to self-quarantine for 14 days once in Maine. That policy is well advised. No doubt it has reduced the incidence of coronavirus cases in Maine well below the level that is devastating a number of other states.

But news reports have documented delays in the process for evaluating the tests and providing the results to the people being tested.

In my own case I was tested at the ConvenientMD Urgent Care facility in Saco on July 16, en route from Massachusetts, where I have my primary residence, to Boothbay Harbor. I received the results from LabCorp., the testing service in question, on Aug. 6. Fortunately, the results were negative. The delay of three weeks, however, defeated the purpose of the test.

Such long delays are exposing visitors and residents of Maine to great, unconscionable risks. People who are tested do not know if they have the coronavirus and are left in limbo, potentially for weeks, sometimes jeopardizing the health of family members. While waiting for test results, people who are infected, though asymptomatic, may be spreading the virus to Maine residents.

That outcome is all the more appalling when a delay exceeds the two-week period of self-quarantine, which Maine mandates as a protective shield, and the results turn out to be positive.

Joseph Rosenbloom

West Newton, Mass.

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