A sign in front of the Portland Police Department is seen in this file photo.

As of 11 a.m. Friday, March 20, 44 Maine residents have been confirmed positive and 12 others are presumed positive for the coronavirus, according to the state. Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support this mission by purchasing a digital subscription.

A Portland police officer has tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Frank Clark, the city’s police chief, revealed that in a Thursday afternoon post on the Portland Police Department’s Facebook page.

“I unfortunately have to report that we’ve learned that a veteran officer in our department has been diagnosed with COVID-19. We are in touch with the officer, who is currently quarantined outside of the state,” Clark wrote in the post.

It wasn’t immediately clear how the officer contracted the virus, known as COVID-19, which has spread to at least eight Maine counties, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There are 56 confirmed and likely cases of the virus in the state, and more than half of them have been reported in Cumberland County, where health officials have found evidence of “community transmission.”

Clark also noted in the post that the Portland Police Department has closed to the public, with the exception of the station’s lobby. He said that other measures have been taken to limit the virus’ spread to the department’s staff, including closing the communications center to non-staff members and barring non-essential persons from being in police vehicles.

“Make no mistake, however, your police force and its employees remain strong. I could not work with a more professional group of problem solvers. They are up for this challenge and are at work and ready to continue to serve and protect this great city,” Clark said.