ROCKLAND, Maine — Three positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported at a memory care and assisted-living facility in Rockland.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday that it has opened an investigation at Woodlands Memory Care of Rockland. Universal testing of residents and staff is underway, Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah said.

“We are very concerned about this outbreak at this facility,” Shah said. “We sadly expect that there will be more cases.”

Due to the vulnerability of residents at facilities like Woodlands Memory Care, Shah said the Maine CDC is especially concerned about this outbreak.

Woodlands Memory Care offers assisted-living services to individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions that cause memory impairments.

The facility had been following all CDC protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and “tried to go above and beyond those protocols for the safety” of residents and staff, Woodlands Memory Care Managing Member Matthew Walters said in a statement.

“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,” Walters said.

The Maine CDC doesn’t believe the cases at the facility are linked to a recent outbreak in neighboring Waldo County. However, that possible link is still being investigated, Shah said.

Over the past eight months, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a harrowing toll on some of Maine’s assisted-living facilities.

Just up the coast, the Commons at Tall Pines, a skilled-nursing facility in Belfast, saw one of the earliest outbreaks in April. During the course of that outbreak, 43 cases of COVID-19 were reported, including 11 staff members and 32 residents. Thirteen residents died as a result of the outbreak.

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