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At least four workers at a Lewiston group home have tested positive for the coronavirus, making it the latest of Maine’s congregate living facilities to have a confirmed outbreak of the infection, according to state officials.
The new outbreak was discovered at a facility run by Ubuntu Care, a Portland-based company that offers residential care in Androscoggin, Cumberland and York counties, according to its website. Its facilities help people with developmental, medical and behavioral challenges to live independently using an approach that is rooted in traditional African values.
Staff from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention were investigating the outbreak on Wednesday, Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah said during a news conference. More information wasn’t immediately available about the facility or how many residents live there.
A man who answered Ubuntu’s phone early in the afternoon said that he was not immediately available to talk because he was in the middle of a meeting to discuss the outbreak.
Group homes generally serve people with intellectual disabilities and have been the site of at least four other coronavirus outbreaks in Maine. Those cases were at the John F. Murphy Homes in Auburn, a Residential and Community Support Services home in Sanford, a Spurwink facility in Portland and a Granite Bay Care Inc. facility in Brunswick.
State health officials have expressed particular concern about the rapid spread of the virus through congregate care settings such as group and nursing homes, But given the relatively small number of people who live and work in each group home, those outbreaks have generally not been as dramatic as the ones in elder care facilities.