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The Kittery nursing home for which the state’s public health agency refused to run coronavirus test samples earlier this week has confirmed its third case of COVID-19, meaning the facility is now the site of a virus outbreak with a resident and two staff members infected.
Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Nirav Shah confirmed Friday that the facility is now the eighth nursing home in the state to experience an outbreak. The Maine CDC is sending the facility personal protective gear for staff members and has assigned an epidemiologist to work with the home.
The CDC has also recommended universal testing at the facility, according to CDC spokesman Robert Long. The agency typically recommends that facilities with three or more linked cases test all staff and residents.
Durgin Pines confirmed the case Friday morning after receiving results from NorDx, the lab run by the MaineHealth hospital system that ran tests for 69 employees and 12 residents after a single resident tested positive earlier this week, said Durgin Pines’ medical director, Dr. Jabbar Fazeli.
Durgin Pines has 148 staff members and 68 residents. Facility staff on Friday were collecting test samples from the employees and residents who hadn’t yet been tested, said Jessica Lucia, Durgin Pines’ assistant director of nursing.
After a single resident tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday, the facility administered tests on the 69 staff members and 12 residents who had potentially been exposed to the infected resident, who had been at Durgin Pines for about two weeks since her admission from a hospital.
Multiple nursing home staff members then reached out to the CDC to arrange for the state lab to test the samples. A CDC epidemiologist declined, however. In an email, he cited a CDC protocol that “we cannot conduct universal testing when the long-term care facility has only one positive.”
Watch: Why Maine is tracking number of tests instead of people tested