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Portland Retirement Community Reports Cluster Of COVID-19 Cases

A retirement community in Portland called Ashton Gardens is confirming a cluster of COVID-19 cases. In a statement to Maine Public, a spokesperson for the facility’s parent company, Hawthorn Senior Living, says four residents have tested positive for the virus.

Spokesperson Adam Bryan says all residents and staff who are symptomatic are now being tested for the virus, and that the last positive result was on April 2. Ashton Gardens is on the same street and less than half a mile away from The Cedars, another senior living facility where multiple cases have been detected.

Here is the statement provided to Maine Public Radio by Ashton Gardens’ parent company, which did not respond to requests for further details:

“Our top priority at Ashton Gardens Gracious Retirement Living is ensuring the health and safety of all those who live and work in our community. We can confirm that four residents at Ashton Gardens Gracious Retirement Living have tested positive for COVID-19. We are currently testing all patients and staff who are symptomatic. Our last positive test result for a resident was on April 2.

“We have provided ongoing notifications to residents, their family members and staff of Ashton Gardens Gracious Retirement Living with each confirmed case of COVID-19. Our heartfelt wishes go out to all members of our community and their families who have been affected by this virus.

“In early March, Ashton Gardens Gracious Retirement Living proactively implemented a leveled response program to address the increased spread of COVID-19. On March 14, we elevated virus control measures within our communities, which includes very specific and extensive disinfecting protocols; incorporates further safety protocols applied to food services; and prohibits any non-essential visitation. These protocols were further enhanced at Ashton Gardens on March 27th when residents were asked to shelter in their apartments. These enhanced protocols remain in place and all actions we’ve taken have been made with our residents’ health and well-being at the forefront.

“We are in close contact with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (Maine DHHS) and our community will continue to follow all direction given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Maine DHHS and local officials to ensure we are following recommended protocols to protect all those who live and work in our community.”

Correction 9:36 a.m.: due to an editorial error, a previous headline used the word "outbreak." The cases at Ashton Gardens at are a cluster, not an outbreak. We regret the error. Additionally, the CDC is aware of the cases at the community and has been working with Ashton Gardens since last month, according to an emailed statement. 

Updated 10:17 a.m. April 18, 2020