Maine public health officials on Tuesday reported 32 coronavirus cases in the state, up from 17 the day before.
The new tally came in a posting to the website of the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention, which provides updated numbers by noon every weekday.
Of the 32 cases, 23 are confirmed and nine are presumed positive, according to the center. In addition, 1,303 Mainers have tested negative.
Eighteen of the positives are female and 14 are male, with ages ranging from under 20 to the 80s, the center said.
Also Tuesday, Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services announced it was taking “immediate steps to ensure access to critical services and benefits for Maine people while protecting the health of employees and the public in response to the 2019 novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.”
Those steps include supporting residents enrolled in MaineCare, the state medicaid program, by waiving all copays for prescriptions, office visits, emergency department visits, radiology and lab services; allowing early prescription refills; allowing providers to extend 34-day supply maximums on brand prescriptions; waiving initial prior authorization requirements for asthma and for immune-related drugs; and lengthening the period that prior authorization applies for prescription medications, the center said.
The state said it’s also extending the prior authorization coverage period for certain durable medical equipment including home oxygen therapy; glucose test strips; and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) supplies for those diagnosed with COVID-19, those with pending test results who are in self-isolation, and people in a high-risk category for infection.
In addition, the state’s giving home health providers 30 business days to submit care plans, up from the normal five days.
“We are acting swiftly to maintain Maine people’s access to health care coverage, nutritious food, and support for basic necessities in the face of COVID-19, while also safeguarding their health and the health of our valued employees,” said state Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew in a statement.
Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.