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Five more residents of the Maine Veterans’ Homes facility in Scarborough have died from the coronavirus, accounting for all new deaths the state reported from COVID-19 on Thursday.
The five deaths at the long-term care facility outside of Portland brings the total number of deaths there up to 10. In total, 44 Maine residents have died of the coronavirus, and more than half — 23 — have been long-term care facility residents.
The Scarborough facility is one of six long-term care facilities in Maine that have been hit by outbreaks of COVID-19. Long-term care facilities account for a fifth of the state’s cases.
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Thirty-one residents and 20 staff members at the Scarborough residence have tested positive for the virus so far, while 188 staff members and 101 residents have tested negative.
In an update posted to its website on Thursday, Maine Veterans’ Homes said all 340 residents and staff at the facility in Scarborough have been tested. All positive tests have been limited to a single wing of the facility. The residents and staff who live and work in the other three units have tested negative.
Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Nirav Shah has pointed to the Scarborough facility’s strategy of quickly isolating infected residents as proof that an outbreak can be contained.
“We know what a great emotional loss this is for the families of the fallen Scarborough residents, the communities in which these national heroes lived and worked and the Maine Veterans’ Homes staff — especially our Scarborough team,” said Deb Fournier, Chief Operating Officer at Maine Veterans’ Homes. “The bonds between healthcare workers and residents are very strong and our staff, while continuing to care for residents, are also grieving these losses.”
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