GOP Weekly Radio Address: Maine’s response to the coronavirus

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Radio Address


Maine’s response to the coronavirus

Hi, this is Trey Stewart, the Assistant House Republican Leader with this week’s Republican Radio Address.

By now, most of you have heard about the spread of the coronavirus.

Today, I want to talk about how Maine is preparing to respond to the public health threat posed by the coronavirus disease.

The coronavirus is a respiratory illness that can spread person to person.

It was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

It is now spreading throughout the world and in parts of the United States.

So far, there have been no identified cases in the State of Maine.

This week, House Republicans and other members of the Legislature and staff, received a briefing from Maine CDC Director Shaw and Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Rogers. They provided us with the latest updates on the coronavirus.

Symptoms are similar to the flu, and can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough, and
  • Shortness of breath

Call your doctor, and avoid emergency room exposure if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have the virus... or 

have been to an affected area.

Because these areas can, and likely will change, public health officials here in Maine are working to prepare for the virus.

Additionally, the Maine CDC said that the state's Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory has conducted roughly a dozen tests for coronavirus with all of them coming back negative for the virus.

The U.S. CDC updated guidelines to expand the criteria for what makes individuals with symptoms of the virus eligible for testing.

Symptoms resemble that of the flu, and may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Again, Maine has no confirmed cases of coronavirus at this time.

Maine CDC previously reported that one individual who met earlier federal testing criteria has tested negative.

In response to the expansion of federal criteria, more individuals in Maine are being tested.

To support Maine’s response, the Legislature has sped up the transfer of necessary funding to purchase testing equipment.

Maine CDC has received the new equipment, and state lab staff are calibrating it and taking other steps to prepare for more testing.

Legislators have been told that the Maine CDC will inform the public if positive tests are confirmed, and will offer regular updates on testing recommendations.

The number of positive test results will also be posted to Maine CDC's coronavirus webpage.

The number of requests for testing will increase, as the situation continues to evolve globally and in the United States. Moving forward, tests will be conducted by both Maine CDC and the U.S. CDC to facilitate prompt results.

Individuals who exhibit symptoms should contact their health care providers, who will make the initial determination on whether corona virus testing is advisable. 

If testing is recommended, medical providers will alert the Maine CDC to coordinate testing. As appropriate, health providers will take samples and submit them to the Maine CDC.

Do not panic, but please take precautions.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, or sleeve
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care, and
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

The purpose of providing this information is to help ensure the recommendations of the CDC are widely known. We encourage you to follow them, to protect yourselves and help slow the spread of the virus.

Please do not panic.

Maine is well equipped to identify and contain the virus should it become necessary.

The State of Maine and the federal government are working hard to prevent the spread of coronavirus and reduce its impact in areas where it is present.

This has been State Representative Trey Stewart with the Weekly Republican Radio Address.        

Thank you for listening.


Maine CDC information:

Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)


Trey Stewart

Assistant Republican Leader Harold 'Trey' Stewart (R-Presque Isle)

Rep. Harold “Trey” Stewart III is serving his second term in the Maine House of Representatives representing the people of House District 147 which encompasses most of Presque Isle. He has been elected to serve as the Assistant House Republican Leader for the 129th Legislature.

 Rep. Stewart graduated from Presque Isle High School in 2012. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Maine in 2016 in political science and sociology. 

He was first elected to the Maine House in 2016 while he was a senior in college.  Since then, he has completed an MBA while serving his first term in the legislature, graduating in May of 2018. He currently is pursuing a law degree from Maine Law, in addition to his legislative duties. 

Rep. Stewart worked for in the Office of Congressman Bruce Poliquin prior to serving in the legislature.  He also worked at the Aroostook Partnership and Northern Maine Development Commission, focusing on economic and workforce development in Northern Maine.  In 2018, he became a licensed real estate agent. 

 During his first term in the Maine House, Rep. Stewart was the youngest member of the Maine Legislature and served on both the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee and the state-wide Opioid Task Force. In the 129th Legislature, Rep. Stewart served on the Taxation Committee and serves as the House Republican member of the Maine Economic Growth Council.  In his time in the legislature, he has focused on growing rural Maine's economy and workforce, making common sense reforms to state government and Maine's dependency system, growing the forest products sector, addressing Maine's opioid crisis and saving lives, attracting young people to Maine to grow our workforce, and ensuring veterans, seniors, and the most vulnerable Mainers have access to the services and help they need to thrive.  

 As he enters his second term, he is still serving as the youngest member of the legislature and one of the youngest members of legislative leadership in the nation. Serving on two national legislative boards, (NCSL and ALEC), Rep. Stewart works hard nation-wide to ensure Maine has a presence on the national legislative stage.

In addition to his career and legislative service, Rep. Stewart also a member of the Presque Isle Rotary Club; Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce; Trinity Masonic Lodge #130; Momentum Aroostook, Steering Committee; Aroostook County Action Program, Board of Directors; Northern Maine Community College Foundation, Board of Directors; University of Maine at Presque Isle Board of  Visitors; Northeast Forest Fire Protection Compact, Commissioner for Maine; and served as a volunteer firefighter in Presque Isle for five years.