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New 'swab and send' testing site at the University of Maine at Machias will be open to public

Testing will be available on Mondays from noon to 4 p.m. by appointment starting Monday, Nov. 23.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

AUGUSTA, Maine — The University of Maine at Machias is becoming the Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) newest “swab and send” testing site, providing free COVID-19 tests to people who think they need a test, regardless of symptoms and without the need for a referral from a health provider.

Testing will be available on Mondays from noon to 4 p.m. by appointment starting Monday, Nov. 23. It will continue at the Machias campus through at least the week of Jan. 25, 2021, when in-person instruction resumes across the University of Maine System for the spring semester. 

Appointments are required and may be made beginning tomorrow. Additional information on appointments will be available later today on the Keep Maine Healthy website.

The University of Maine at Machias, a regional campus of the University of Maine, will be the second DHHS swab and send location in Washington County, joining Calais Regional Hospital. The campus-based testing center will have the capacity to conduct an average of 150 tests per week and will send specimens to the State Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory in Augusta.

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In addition to the swab and send agreement with DHHS, the testing at UMM is made possible through another agreement the University of Maine System reached with the Maine Emergency Management Agency to coordinate requests for assistance and deployment of resources in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“We thank the University of Maine System for partnering with the Mills Administration to expand access to free COVID-19 testing in the Down East region,” DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew said. “Convenient access to testing in Maine communities is vital to identifying cases of COVID-19 and taking action to limit the spread of the virus.”

"We're pleased to have the opportunity to help expand access to COVID-19 testing in rural Maine," UMM Head of Campus Dan Qualls added. "UMM stands ready to support this critical effort to serve the needs of our community."