Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQ
Please choose from the topics below to learn more about COVID-19.
COVID-19 Testing • Antibody Testing • Antigen Testing • At-Home Testing • School/Daycare • Exposures & Quarantine • Coming to InterMed • Travel & Visitors During the Pandemic • Protection • COVID-19 Vaccine
InterMed offers PCR (polymerase chain reaction) COVID-19 testing, which is the most sensitive (fewest false negatives) test for the detection of COVID-19. This test is appropriate for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. The sample is collected via nasal swab.
InterMed also offers Abbott ID NOW rapid testing, a test that provides reliable results in 15-30 minutes in appropriately selected patients with symptoms. This is a viral RNA detection (not antigen) test, which is less sensitive (has more false negatives) than the PCR test. When used in symptomatic patients this test is very effective in rapidly determining a patient's COVID-19 status. The sample is collected via nasal swab.
If your provider has a high suspicion that you may have COVID-19 but results from the Abbott ID NOW rapid test are negative, the provider may request repeating the nasal swab and testing with the more sensitive PCR.
Coverage varies by insurer. Please contact your insurance company to discuss your plan's coverage. The CPT code for both types of COVID-19 testing is 87635.
COVID-19 testing costs $121 per test for either PCR or Abbott ID NOW rapid test.
The current spike of COVID-19 cases in Maine necessitates that we prioritize COVID-19 testing for symptomatic patients. InterMed is unable to test patients seeking travel clearance. If you need travel related testing the State maintains a website with locations that accommodate travel related testing requests.
InterMed conducts testing at 100 Foden Road in South Portland. Testing is a conducted via a drive-through setup.
Please note that all testing is by appointment only.
Abbott ID NOW rapid test results are known within 15-30 minutes of the test.
PCR test result turnaround time can be highly variable. Typically results are available within 1- 3 days from the test date. At the time of your COVID-19 test appointment, you will be informed of the expected turnaround for your test results. All of the labs that we use are working as efficiently as possible to process COVID-19 tests in a timely manner. Please refer to the expected turnaround provided during your InterMed COVID-19 test appointment to determine when your test results should be available.
Yes, InterMed offers antibody testing to patients. Antibody tests blood tests can detect antibodies to this coronavirus. If you have a positive test, it means that you likely had contact with the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This test can also be positive due to other coronaviruses (such as certain cold viruses) that you may have had in the past. Having antibodies to the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 might provide some protection from being infected with the virus again. If it does, we do not know how much protection the antibodies might provide or how long this protection might last. Confirmed and suspected cases of reinfection have been reported but seem to be rare. You should continue to protect yourself and others since you could get infected with the virus again.
Coverage varies by insurer. Please contact your insurance company to discuss details of your plan's coverage. The CPT code for COVID-19 antibody testing is 86769 and the associated blood draw CPT code is 36415 (Venipuncture).
The antibody test costs $100 out of pocket and the associated blood draw costs $9 out of pocket.
InterMed does not currently offer antigen testing. Antigen tests are a nasal swab sample that looks for antigens specific to COVID-19 which may tell if you have a current infection. Antigen tests are generally less sensitive than PCR tests which means a higher chance of a false negative test results. InterMed continually reassesses the utility of different test methods to determine the best tests to offer to our patients to meet their needs.
At-home/self-testing is one of several risk-reduction strategies to reduce the chances of COVID-19 transmission, along with along with vaccination, masking, and physical distancing. If you decide to utilize an at-home/self-testing kit, follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions for performing the test and keep in mind that some kits are designed to be used in a repeat-testing manner, performed on a routine basis every few days. While useful in many situations, at-home tests are not as sensitive (meaning: more false negatives) when compared to testing platforms available through InterMed. For more in-depth information, visit the CDC’s Self-Testing resource.
Stay home for at least 5 full days: Day 0 is the first day of symptoms or the date of your positive test (whichever is first). You can end isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved (Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation). Call your InterMed primary care team if symptoms worsen.
Continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for 5 additional days (days 6-10). If you are unable to wear a mask when around others, you should isolate for a full 10 days.
Tell any close contacts that they may have been exposed. A person with COVID-19 can begin spreading it starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive. By informing your close contacts they may have been exposed, you are helping to protect everyone.
I took an at-home test and got a negative result but am experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. What should I do?
Quarantine immediately and contact your InterMed primary care team to determine whether or not additional testing is necessary.
My child tested negative with an at-home test. Will InterMed write a letter for their return to school/childcare?
InterMed is able to provide a complete Return to School/Childcare Clearance Form when testing was conducted at InterMed. InterMed can attest only to tests performed at our facility but can provide a Clearance Form confirming a child’s symptoms, exposure, and vaccination status.
If your child’s school/childcare facility will not accept at-home test results for return clearance purposes, contact your child’s primary care team to schedule testing or seek testing elsewhere in the community at one of these locations.
InterMed recommends following U.S. CDC isolation and quarantine guidance for K-12 schools which are based on vaccination status, symptoms, exposure, and test results. To learn more, visit the following CDC resources:
- Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19
- Operational Guidance for K-12 Schools and Early Care and Education Programs to Support Safe In-Person Learning
CDC guidelines do not supersede state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations. Your child’s school/childcare facility may follow other guidelines. Please contact your child’s school/daycare’s administration for specific return clearance instructions.
A household member is positive, so my child is a prolonged close contact. What is the timing of their quarantine?
If the close contact remains asymptomatic, their quarantine period starts on the last day of exposure. "Last day of exposure" is defined as the latest date a person was in close contact with the isolating positive household member. For example: if household members cannot isolate from the COVID-positive person and therefore remain in close contact, their quarantine begins at the end of the positive person's isolation period. If household members can isolate from the COVID-positive person, quarantine begins the day of physical separation from the positive person. The close contact should be tested on day 5 from last exposure and remain in quarantine until they meet CDC guidelines to end quarantine. Refer to the guidelines here.
If the close contact develops symptoms, their quarantine period starts on the first day of symptom onset. The close contact should be tested as soon as possible. Depending on test results, they may need to isolate (when positive) or quarantine (when negative) based on the guidelines here.
Adhering to this guidance can result in a “rolling quarantine” situation, where families must cycle through multiple positives, isolation periods, and quarantine periods before the entire household is cleared. Please be advised that isolation and quarantine duration guidelines increase from 5 to 10 days when a person cannot reliably wear a mask. A “rolling isolation/quarantine flowchart” outlining various guidelines may be found here.
These recommendations do not apply to K-12 school settings. Additional guidance for these settings is available here:
My child attends in-person daycare or school. How do I best protect them from COVID-19 in these group settings?
Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent getting very sick with COVID-19. It is also recommended that your child wash their hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, stay at least 6 feet from other people, and wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth. Children under the age of 2 years old are not recommended to wear a mask. For more information, refer to the CDC's guidance on how to protect yourself & others or the CDC's school/childcare guidelines page.
Exposures & Quarantine
A close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. The date of an exposure is considered day 0 when calculating quarantine guidelines.
What should I do if I have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19? Should I get tested for COVID-19 and if so, when should I get tested?
Instructions change depending on your vaccination status. Follow the guidance found on the CDC’s Quarantine & Isolation webpage.
Coming to InterMed
Everyone with an upcoming visit can expect an automated confirmation call several days before their appointment. At that time, you’ll be prompted to consider if you’re experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. If you are symptomatic, call your InterMed primary care team. If you are negative for COVID, your visit will proceed as planned. If you are positive for COVID, your primary care team will work with you.
Everyone in an InterMed building must mask at all times, unless instructed to remove their mask by their healthcare provider. Surgical masks are superior to cloth (such as gaiters, homemade masks, etc.). If you do not have a surgical mask for your appointment, you can pick one up at the entrance to our office.
When you call to discuss booking an acute appointment, you will be screened for COVID symptoms during the phone call. If you are symptomatic, your primary care team will work with you to determine placement (such as office visit, telehealth, home care advice). InterMed accepts the results of at-home COVID tests to determine patient placement.
I was instructed to get a COVID test prior to coming to my in-person visit. How much does that cost?
For the safety of our patients, providers, and staff, InterMed requires a COVID test for symptomatic patients to be cleared of COVID before coming to our office. The cost of a PCR test or an Abbott ID NOW rapid test is $121. Testing coverage varies by insurer. Please contact your insurance company to discuss your plan's coverage. The CPT code for COVID-19 testing is 87635.
Yes. Please contact your doctor's office for details.
I have an upcoming in-person appointment scheduled but do not feel comfortable coming to the office. Can I switch to a telehealth visit?
Yes, please call the provider you are scheduled with to discuss options for a telehealth visit.
I have been exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. May I still come to my appointment?
If you are asymptomatic you may come to your appointment. If you have symptoms, please contact your provider's office at least 24 hours prior to your appointment to discuss visit options.
Yes. Contact your physician's office to discuss options for your upcoming visit.
Travel & visitors during the pandemic
I have out of town guests coming to visit that are not InterMed patients. Where do I advise they go for testing?
InterMed only offers COVID-19 testing to our patients. However, the State maintains a website with locations that provide COVID-19 tests free of charge to people who feel they need one, even without an order from a provider.
I have upcoming travel scheduled. Should I cancel? Can I get tested at InterMed upon my return to Maine?
The CDC recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated, because travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.
For more information, refer to the CDC’s travel guidance including domestic and international travel testing requirements.
COVID Vaccine: Vaccine Availability
InterMed is able to vaccinate patients 6 months of age and older. Visit our Vaccine page for more information.
Call our Vaccine Scheduling Line at (207) 523-3919.
Patients younger than 18 must have a parent or guardian's verbal permission.
InterMed is currently only vaccinating our patients. If you are not a patient, we encourage you to visit the State's website for COVID-19 vaccine locations in Maine.
COVID Vaccine: About the Vaccine
InterMed is unable to guarantee a specific vaccine in advance of a patient's first COVID vaccine appointment. You will receive one of the mRNA FDA approved or emergency use authorized vaccines: Pfizer or Moderna. If you have a specific brand preference, visit the national directory, Vaccine Finder.
- InterMed is able provide mRNA vaccines for second, third, and booster doses.
- If you are unsure of which vaccine you are due for, use this interactive CDC tool.
Common side effects include pain, swelling, or redness in the arm where you got the shot. You may experience chills, tiredness, or headache. These side effects usually start within a day or two of getting the vaccine. They might feel like flu symptoms and might even affect your ability to do daily activities, but will go away in a few days. For more safety information, refer to the federal CDC's Pfizer or Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine resources.
Individuals with autoimmune conditions or patients who are immunocompromised may receive COVID-19 vaccination if they have no contraindications to vaccination. Patients should contact their primary care provider to discuss their specific situation ahead of receiving the vaccine. Visit our Vaccine page for details, including third dose and booster eligibility. Patients should continue to follow all guidelines to protect themselves against COVID-19, which includes wearing a mask, washing your hands frequently and staying at least 6 feet away from others.
Yes. This is important for your primary care provider to know in the event that follow-up is needed such as scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine booster at a future date. The easiest way to share your vaccination information with your InterMed primary care provider is to scan or photograph your vaccine card and send it to us using our Secure File Upload. We’ll update this information in your medical record. Please do not send it via email.
- Enter your primary care provider under Intended Recipient, and "COVID vaccine" under Additional Information.
If you currently have COVID-19 you should defer vaccination until you have recovered and have discontinued isolation. To learn more about when to discontinue isolation, read our handout: Guidelines for Positive COVID persons
Yes. The current recommendation advises that those who have already had COVID-19 still be vaccinated. While natural infection gives some degree of immunity, it does not give full protection.
If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine, unless you have discussed this with your primary care physician and they have cleared you receiving the vaccine sooner than 90 days.
Yes, the CDC has removed its recommendation of separating the COVID-19 vaccine from other immunization, so you no longer need to wait 14 days after administration of other vaccines.
COVID Vaccine: Pediatric Patients
Yes. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends COVID-19 vaccination for all eligible children and adolescents who do not have contraindications using a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use for their age. The AAP further supports coadministration of routine childhood and adolescent immunizations with COVID-19 vaccines for children and adolescents who are behind on or due for immunizations and/or at increased risk from vaccine-preventable diseases. Children who have had COVID-19 should receive the COVID-19 vaccination, according to CDC guidelines. Children who currently have COVID-19 should defer COVID-19 vaccination until recovered and out of isolation.
Patients under 18 must have a parent or guardian's verbal permission.
COVID Vaccine: Women and the Vaccine
The American College of Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Getting a vaccine could help both you and your fetus. Remember that pregnant women have a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 than nonpregnant women. The vaccines are very effective at preventing COVID-19 infection, severe illness, and death. A growing amount of data confirms that COVID-19 vaccines are safe during pregnancy. Scientists have compared the pregnancies of women who have received COVID-19 vaccines and women who have not. The reports show that these women have had similar pregnancy outcomes. Data do not show any safety concerns. For breastfeeding women, there is no need to stop breastfeeding if you want to get a vaccine. When you get vaccinated, the antibodies made by your body may be passed through breastmilk and may help protect your child from the virus.
The American College of Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends non-pregnant individuals seek vaccination. Further, ACOG recommends vaccination of individuals who are actively trying to become pregnant or are contemplating pregnancy. Additionally, it is not necessary to delay pregnancy after completing COVID-19 vaccination.
Given the mechanism of action and the safety profile of the vaccine in non-pregnant individuals, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are not thought to cause an increased risk of infertility.
If a patient becomes pregnant after the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine series, the second dose should be administered as indicated. If an individual receives a COVID-19 vaccine and becomes pregnant within 30 days of receipt of the vaccine, participation in the CDC's V-SAFE program should be encouraged.
Try to schedule your screening mammogram before your first COVID-19 vaccine dose or at least 4 weeks after your second vaccine dose. This reduces the chance that swollen lymph nodes from the vaccine will appear on your mammogram. If you have already scheduled a vaccine within this timeframe, keep your appointment. Regular screening mammograms ensure that breast cancer can be detected as early as possible.
It is especially important to keep your mammogram appointment if you are significantly overdue for screening.
If you have a mammogram after your COVID vaccine, let your mammography technologist know which dose, the date you received it, and in which arm. This information will help the breast radiologist interpreting your screening mammogram. Learn more
COVID Vaccine: After the Vaccine
V-safe is a smartphone-based, after-vaccination health checker offered by the federal CDC for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines. V-safe uses text messaging and web surveys from CDC to check in with vaccine recipients following COVID-19 vaccination. V-safe also provides second vaccine dose reminders if needed, and telephone follow up to anyone who reports medically significant (important) adverse events. To learn more, visit the CDC's resources for V-safe, or to sign up, visit V-safe.
COVID Vaccine: Billing and Insurance
The COVID vaccine will be provided to patients at no cost. For patients with health insurance, there will be a vaccine administration fee that we will bill to your insurance provider.
- The Moderna vaccine administration CPT code for dose 1 is 0011A; dose 2 is 0012A; and dose 3 is 0013A. Each dose is $71 (the vaccine administration fee will be billed to your insurance provider for each separate dose).
- The Pfizer vaccine administration CPT code for dose 1 is 0001A; dose 2 is 0002A; and dose 3 is 0003A. Each dose is $71 (the vaccine administration fee will be billed to your insurance provider for each separate dose).
There is no charge to patients for the vaccine or its administration and you will not incur a bill associated with InterMed billing your insurance provider.