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The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday evening that 57 cases of coronavirus were confirmed at Cape Memory Center, a residential care facility for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
As of Thursday evening, 45 residents and 12 staff at the facility had tested positive for the virus, with additional results pending. The Maine CDC collected about 100 samples Wednesday after one individual “associated with the center” tested positive for the virus, according to the agency. The facility joins nearly a dozen other long-term care facilities in Maine that have seen outbreaks of the virus.
Cape Memory Center learned Tuesday afternoon that a staff member had tested positive, Matthew Walters, a managing member, said late Thursday night. The employee had passed a medical screening before working their last shift and showed no symptoms during that shift, he said.
The facility arranged for testing of all staff and residents once the staff member tested positive. That testing happened Wednesday.
Forty-five of the facility’s 66 residents — more than two-thirds — tested positive while 12 of 35 staff members did. Additional test results were pending late Thursday night, according to the Maine CDC.
“While a few residents began showing some symptoms on the day universal testing was conducted, we previously had no reason to believe there were any COVID-positive cases in this community,” Walters said.
The Maine CDC said that, going forward, it will be implementing universal testing at long-term care facilities after one coronavirus case is detected due to the state’s increased testing capacity. Previously, a cluster of three or more confirmed cases was needed before the state recommended testing for all residents and staff.
The 57 cases at Cape Memory Center makes the facility’s outbreak one of the largest to date in Maine. The Augusta Center for Health and Rehabilitation was the site of Maine’s largest coronavirus outbreak to date. That facility recorded 76 cases in April, and seven residents died.
As of last week, the facility no longer had any active cases.
“It is staggering how quickly and quietly COVID-19 moves, and its ability to impact people and communities that are taking every possible step to prevent it,” said Walters of Cape Memory Center.