Maine State Police has the first case of COVID-19 in its ranks

Brian Inganga | AP
Brian Inganga | AP
In this photo taken Sunday, April 5, 2020, laboratory technician Irene Ooko prepares nasal swabs to be tested for the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, at the Pathologists Lancet Kenya laboratory in Nairobi, Kenya.
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Maine State Police have “a sworn member of the department” who has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety.
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Maine State Police has its first confirmed case of COVID-19, “a sworn member of the department” who tested positive for the virus, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The member’s duty included work at the Maine Turnpike Weigh Station in York, along the northbound lanes, in York County. State workers immediately closed the station and it underwent a thorough cleaning by experts in the mitigation of COVID-19 after notice came of the man’s positive test on Saturday morning. The station reopened on Monday, McCausland said.

[Our COVID-19 tracker contains the most recent information on Maine cases by county]

The infected man “and his family are doing very well and in good spirits,” McCausland said Monday.

McCausland said he was “not surprised” that someone from state police had caught the coronavirus, given that close to a dozen other state employees had also tested positive. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services office in Rockland is expected to open on Tuesday after it was closed Monday for a thorough sanitizing because an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

“We happen to be the latest,” McCausland said.

The Maine Center for Disease Control has conducted an investigation into whom the state police member came into contact with, and state police notified anyone who would need to self-quarantine, McCausland said.

“We have backtracked the contacts and keep them updated on what’s going on,” McCausland said.

Of the number of dead from the virus in the state, 10, the most recent death, a man in his 70s, was from York County. That case was confirmed Saturday. Of the 499 cases spread across 15 Maine counties, York is second on the list with 108. The coronavirus has hit hardest in Cumberland County, where 249 cases have been confirmed as of Monday.

 


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