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There are no more active cases of the coronavirus associated with the Hope House Health and Living Center in Bangor, officials said Monday. The announcement marks the end of the city’s only outbreak to date and the largest to affect a Maine homeless shelter.
All 20 people who were infected with the virus in April — 16 guests and four staff members — have now recovered, a shelter spokesman said. The outbreak is considered closed, Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, confirmed Monday. Shelter officials isolated people recovering from the virus at a local hotel.
The Hope House shelter reported an outbreak on April 29, about a week and a half after confirming its first positive case.
At the time, shelter officials did not immediately test everyone who had visited the shelter after the first case because, back then, the state hadn’t yet expanded testing to the point it has now, and public health officials only recommended universal testing at congregate care settings following a third positive case.
The outbreak followed a contentious debate between the shelter and the city over how to prepare for one. Despite the arguing and delays, officials had a plan in place by the time people started getting sick, and no one fell seriously ill, they said.
There have also been no new cases at the Augusta Center for Health and Rehabilitation, which was the site of Maine’s largest coronavirus outbreak at the time. Similarly, the Commons at Tall Pines skilled nursing facility in Belfast has seen no new cases. On Monday, Shah announced that an outbreak at the Edgewood Rehabilitation & Living Center in Farmington is also considered closed.