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Another long-term care and rehabilitation facility has reported an outbreak of the new coronavirus, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Falmouth by the Sea is now the fifth long-term care facility in Maine to experience an outbreak of the respiratory infection that has caused a global pandemic. Three residents and one staff member at the 65-bed facility have tested positive for COVID-19, Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah said Thursday.
The Maine CDC considers an outbreak to be three or more cases at one facility. When an outbreak occurs at a long-term care facility, Shah said, the CDC offers universal testing for the virus and ships personal protective equipment.
The CDC also recommends that facilities isolate residents who test positive for the virus from those who don’t have it.
“It is possible to limit the spread of COVID 19 outbreaks if quick, strong, scientifically-grounded action is taken,” he said.
State officials have expressed particular concern about the coronavirus reaching long-term care facilities because their elderly residents are more vulnerable to its damaging health effects and because it can quickly circulate among people in close confines.
The number of coronavirus cases at the four other Maine facilities with outbreaks has grown steadily over the past week as the virus has spread and more residents and staff members have been tested. Those facilities are:
— Tall Pines Retirement and Healthcare Community in Belfast, which has now recorded 35 cases of the coronavirus, up 10 cases from Wednesday;
— the Augusta Center for Health and Rehabilitation, where 45 of 63 residents are infected along with 25 staff members;
— the assisted living facility at The Cedars retirement community in Portland, which has five cases; and
— the Maine Veterans’ Homes facility in Scarborough, which has recorded 41 cases, up three since Wednesday.
Tall Pines, the Maine Veterans’ Homes facility and the Augusta rehabilitation center have each seen two residents die from the virus. OceanView at Falmouth, a retirement community in Falmouth, was the site of some of Maine’s first confirmed cases of the coronavirus. That community had recorded 11 cases late last week. At least one resident of that community has died from the coronavirus, the Portland Press Herald reported.
Watch: Should you remove loved ones from care facilities during the outbreak?