The entrance to the Maine Veterans Homes facility in Scarborough, a 125-bed retirement home for veterans and their spouses. The site has gone into a lockdown this week after an employee tested positive for COVID-19, prohibiting visitors and isolating staff and residents. Credit: Nick Schroeder

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SCARBOROUGH, Maine — A retirement home for Maine veterans has gone into lockdown after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

The Maine Veterans’ Homes facility in Scarborough, one of the six facilities operated by the quasi-state nonprofit, is restricting visitors and has isolated staff and residents that came into close contact with the employee for two days before symptoms.

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The staff member self-reported symptoms from home on March 27 and had last worked inside the veterans’ facility the previous day. Staff, residents and families were notified March 31.

“We have closed the affected unit to other staff and have restricted all nonessential activities and programs,” home spokesperson Josh Scroggins said.

Residents who may have been exposed at the 125-bed facility have been asked to remain in their rooms. The facility has also begun “increased respiratory screening and are closely monitoring all residents for any symptoms,” Scroggins said.

Scroggins said the retirement home was observing “universal masking” and using other personal protection equipment, or PPE. The facility is making exceptions for visitors wearing PPE for patients in hospice or end-of-life care. He did not respond to an inquiry about how many employees or residents at the facility were identified as potentially exposed to the coronavirus.

Maine Veterans’ Homes houses retired veterans and their spouses. The organization was created by the Maine Legislature, but it receives no direct state funding, relying on Medicaid, Medicare, private payments and charitable donations. It has additional locations in Augusta, Bangor, Caribou, Machias and South Paris.