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The number of coronavirus cases at the Maine Veterans’ Home facility in Scarborough has more than tripled since Saturday, highlighting the vulnerability of long-term care facility residents to the highly contagious respiratory virus.
Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said Monday that 32 cases had been recorded at the 125-bed facility, with 26 residents and six staff members testing positive for the virus. One resident died from the virus on April 3.
The number of cases is an increase from nine reported on Saturday, when three residents and six staff members tested positive.
The facility is one of three long-term care centers in Maine where outbreaks of the coronavirus have occurred recently. The Maine Veterans’ Home recorded its first case in late March.
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That case, in which an employee tested positive, caused the facility to restrict visitors and isolate staff and residents who came into close contact with the employee. It is one of six facilities operated by quasi-state nonprofit Maine Veterans’ Homes for retired veterans and their spouses.
The state is also watching an outbreak at Tall Pines Retirement and Healthcare Community in Belfast, which saw its case count grow over the weekend. That facility now has recorded 23 positive coronavirus cases, with 19 residents and four staff members testing positive. Two residents have died.
The largest outbreak has been reported at the Augusta Center for Health and Rehabilitation, where nearly two-thirds of the 63 residents are infected. The Maine CDC said Sunday that 41 residents and 14 staff members have tested positive.
Most residents of the three facilities who have tested positive for the coronavirus are not showing symptoms, Shah said.
The steep increases in positive cases are the result of universal testing offered to residents and staff at long-term care facilities after the CDC detects early signs of an outbreak, according to Shah.
Watch: Maine CDC press conference, April 13