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Maine Long-Term Care Facilities Continue To Experience COVID-19 Outbreaks

Nick Woodward
Maine Public
Mills speaks at a CDC press briefing March 24, 2020

Maine long-term care facilities continue to experience outbreaks of COVID-19. The Maine Center for Disease Control reported Thursday that Falmouth By the Sea is the fifth such facility to be hit with multiple cases.

CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said three residents and one staff worker have tested positive at Falmouth By the Sea, a senior living facility with about 60 residents.

Shah says CDC has sent workers there personal protective equipment and is now advising staff on what steps they need to take to curb the outbreak.

"As we've seen from other facilities across Maine, it is possible to limit the spread of COVID-19 outbreaks if quick, strong and scientifically-grounded action is taken," Shah says. Such action will likely include universal testing at Falmouth By the Sea, as it was at the four other congregate living sites.

Some of those other sites, including the Augusta Center for Health and Rehabilitation and the Maine Veterans Home in Scarborough, saw single-digit case increases after CDC intervention.

But Tall Pines, a retirement community in Belfast, has struggled to contain its outbreak. The CDC reported 10 additional cases there Thursday, including eight residents and two staff workers.

Shah says it's too soon to know if staff followed the appropriate procedures at any of the five facilities, and he says the CDC is remaining focused on containment.

The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maine is now 796. Twenty-seven people have died and 333 have recovered.

The CDC is now reporting community transmission in Androscoggin County, joining the counties of Cumberland, York and Penobscot.

Originally published April 17, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. ET.