COVID-19 Resources for Public Water Systems
The Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) is monitoring the coronavirus or COVID-19 as new cases are identified across the country and in New England. The Drinking Water Program would like to offer the following guidance and additional resources to help prepare for potential impacts to water system operations and disease outbreak. In preparation for a potential COVID-19 outbreak, please:
- Review your Emergency Action and Response Plans with staff. Update these plans if necessary, to be prepared for the possibility of staff contracting the virus.
- Check with other local water systems and neighboring programs to compare preparation plans. Communications are key in events such as these. Exploring all mutual aid possibilities with local systems will also provide stronger plans of action and response.
- Ensure that all staff are following these steps to reduce the possible spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose with unwashed hands;
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or by coughing or sneezing into your upper sleeve, not your hands; and
- Stay home when you’re sick and avoid close contact with others.
- If you are a Public Water System and you haven’t done so already, consider joining the Maine Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (MEWARN). MEWARN can be an important asset when pandemics such as COVID-19 arise. This network is available to all public and private water and wastewater systems in Maine with no fee for participation. MEWARN allows systems to receive rapid aid and assistance in the event of an emergency. For membership or other information, contact MEWARN at 207.737.4092, or https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/environmental-health/dwp/pws/meWARN.shtml.
To learn more about COVID-19 and the State of Maine’s preparation for potential spread, please visit https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/airborne/coronavirus.shtml. For additional resources and up-to-date information, please visit the U.S. CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html. And please don’t hesitate to contact the Drinking Water Program with any questions or concerns.