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Clarity with mask guidance and at home COVID tests are on their way

FILE - Youngstown City Health Department worker Faith Terreri grabs two at-home COVID-19 test...
FILE - Youngstown City Health Department worker Faith Terreri grabs two at-home COVID-19 test kits to be handed out during a distribution event, Dec. 30, 2021, in Youngstown, Ohio.(AP Photo/David Dermer, File)
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 4:07 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Dr. James Jarvis with Northern Light Health says at home COVID tests are going to drastically help testing demands in Maine.

Starting Wednesday, you can order up to four at home COVID-19 testing kits per household.

The Binax NOW test can be ordered online at covidtests.gov.

Last week, the Biden administration changed rules to allow insurance companies to pay for at home tests at pharmacies.

Health officials say this increased access will help people decide whether or not they might have COVID-19 as soon as they are feeling symptoms.

“More availability is good news. This is for a couple reasons. One, because of somebody starts to have mild symptoms they can test themselves, and therefore know whether they need to quarantine and how they can protect their families and the community. It will also help because our testing sites are being overwhelmed,” said Dr. Jarvis.

The testing site at the Bangor Airport had a line backing up traffic for thousands of feet down the road Tuesday.

Furthermore, Northern Light officials say guidelines for mask wearing have changed throughout the pandemic.

Health officials continue to say that any mask is better than no mask.

But earlier this week the U.S. CDC stressed the importance of wearing a mask with the most protection that you will consistently wear.

This as the Biden administration is set to distribute 400 million N95 masks for free next week.

Officials with Northern Light know that with so many different kinds of masks available, they say N95′s will keep you the most safe.

Even if it they haven’t always been available to most people.

”There’s such a wide variance of masks that are out in the market that by suggesting that people wear this higher level of protection, it’s providing better guidance. Initially there were supply chain constraints. We’re now able to as a country, give additional respiratory protection to our communities as well,” said Suzanne Moreshead with Northern Light Health.

Moreshead adds that whenever you are indoors and around anyone not a member of your immediate household you should wear one.

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