This story will be updated.
A Bangor long-term care facility is seeing a second COVID-19 outbreak after numerous residents died in a previous surge in cases at the facility.
Winterberry Heights and Assisted Living and Memory Care on Ohio Street has seen three new COVID-19 cases, triggering an outbreak investigation, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Nirav Shah said during a Wednesday briefing.
The three new cases at Winterberry Heights is the minimum number of cases required by the CDC to declare an outbreak. Shah did not elaborate on when the CDC began the investigation or how COVID-19 may have made its way into the facility.
Multiple residents died in a previous outbreak at the facility that the CDC began investigating on Nov. 20. A total of 15 residents and nine employees had tested positive for the virus in that outbreak with seven residents dying from the virus as of Dec. 4.
Five of the seven of the residents who died were under outside hospice care before they tested positive for COVID-19, facility officials said at the time.
Long-term care facilities have been among the hardest hit from COVID-19. The virus can quickly spread in those settings, where residents who are especially susceptible to severe complications from the virus due to their age and health live in close quarters.
Maine has seen a majority of its long-term care facility outbreaks since the start of November, as Maine has contended with a late surge of the virus that hasn’t let up. Nine of the 10 largest outbreaks at long-term care facilities have happened since late October.
Winterberry Heights joins 13 other long-term care facilities that have seen repeat outbreaks over the course of the pandemic.
As of Jan. 6, there were five other open long-term care outbreaks in Penobscot County: Brewer Center for Health and Rehab had recorded four cases, Eastside Rehab & Living in Bangor had seen 60 among residents and employees, Katahdin Health Care in Millinocket had seen 34 cases, Orono Commons had seen 49 cases, and Ross Manor in Bangor had recorded eight.
Aside from Winterberry Heights, Orono Commons was the only other Penobscot County facility to have experienced a second outbreak. A previous outbreak at that facility over the summer infected 10 people, and three residents died.