Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQ
Please choose from the topics below to learn more about COVID-19.
InterMed offers PCR (polymerase chain reaction) COVID-19 testing. It is the most sensitive test and has the fewest false negatives. This test is appropriate for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. The sample is collected with a nasal swab.
InterMed also offers Abbott ID NOW rapid molecular testing, which provides reliable results in 15-30 minutes in appropriately selected symptomatic patients. This is a viral RNA detection NAAT test that is very effective in rapidly determining the COVID-19 status of symptomatic patients. The sample is collected with a nasal swab.
InterMed does not offer COVID antigen or antibody testing.
If you have negative results from an Abbott ID NOW rapid test but your doctor highly suspects that you may have COVID-19, your doctor may request testing with the more sensitive PCR test. That subsequent test would require its own nasal swab.
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.
The PCR test and the Abbott ID NOW rapid test each cost $128 per test.
InterMed prioritizes COVID-19 testing for symptomatic patients. InterMed is unable to test patients seeking travel clearance. If you are seeking testing related to travel or asymptomatic exposure, the State maintains a website with locations that accommodate these requests.
InterMed conducts testing at a number of locations, depending on the needs of the patient. The main site is at 100 Foden Road in South Portland, where testing is conducted through a self-collection swabbing system.
Please note that all testing is by appointment only. An InterMed care team member will confirm the location of your test .
Abbott ID NOW rapid test results are generally available within 15-30 minutes.
For PCR tests, the turnaround time for results can be highly variable. Results are typically available within 1- 3 days. You will be informed of the expected turnaround for your results during your testing appointment.
At-home/self-testing is one of several risk-reduction strategies to reduce the chances of COVID-19 transmission. (Others include vaccination, masking, physical distancing and improving ventilation.) If you decide to use an at-home/self-testing kit, follow all the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep in mind that some kits are designed to be used for serial testing, meaning a test is performed on a routine basis every few days. InterMed accepts the results of at-home COVID tests to determine patient placement as they are an important resource as we learn to live with COVID. The U.S. CDC’s self-testing resource has more information.
Free home COVID tests can be requested through Project ACT and some insurance plans. They can also be purchased at many pharmacies and drug stores.
Follow the U.S. CDC’s Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19 guidance to determine your isolation timeline. Call your InterMed primary care team if symptoms worsen.
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 Return to School/Childcare Clearance Form that notes the type of the test and confirm your 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 a test 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.
My child attends in-person daycare or school. How do I best protect them from COVID-19 in these group settings?
Staying up to date with vaccinations is the best way to prevent getting very sick with COVID-19. We 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. Masking is not recommended for children under the age of 2. More information is available in the U.S. CDC’s guidance on how to protect yourself and others or the school/childcare guidelines page.
My child's daycare or school notified us that a classmate within their classroom tested positive for COVID-19. Should my child be tested for COVID-19?
If your child is symptomatic, we recommend testing with an at-home test as soon as possible. If your child is asymptomatic, be alert for symptoms and use an at-home test if any appear.
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 for 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?
If you have symptoms, test immediately. If you were exposed to COVID-19 and do not have symptoms, wait at least 5 full days after your exposure before testing. If you test too early, you may be more likely to get an inaccurate result. Follow the guidance found on the U.S. CDC’s COVID-19 Testing webpage
Coming to InterMed
If you have an in-person visit coming up and are symptomatic, please take an at-home COVID test. If your result is negative, you may proceed with the visit as planned. If your result is positive, please isolate and call us to discuss visit options.
For the safety of our patients and team members, InterMed requires symptomatic patients to test for COVID (using either an at-home or lab-verified test) before coming to our office. We rely on your COVID test results to determine appropriate patient placement. If you are symptomatic and calling to discuss booking an acute appointment, please take an at-home COVID test beforehand so we can talk about your COVID status during the phone call.
I was instructed to get a COVID test prior to coming to my in-person visit. How much does that cost?
The PCR test and the Abbott ID NOW rapid test each cost $128 per test. 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.
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 office of the medical staff member you are scheduled to see to discuss telehealth options.
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, take an at-home test immediately. Your visit can be adjusted as necessary based on test results.
Yes. Contact your physician’s office to discuss options for your upcoming visit.
InterMed is able to vaccinate patients 6 months of age and older. Visit our vaccine webpage for more information.
Call or send a message through MyInterMed, the patient portal, to your physician’s office.
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 Vaccine Finder directory.
- InterMed is able provide mRNA vaccines for second, third and booster doses.
- If you are unsure of which vaccine you are due for, the U.S CDC has this interactive tool.
Patients younger than 18 must have a parent or guardian’s verbal permission.
We are currently vaccinating our patients only. If you are not an InterMed patient, we encourage you to visit the State’s website for COVID-19 vaccine locations in Maine.