Fifteen residents and three staff members at the Woodlands Memory Care facility have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Monday, Nov. 2. Credit: Lauren Abbate / BDN

ROCKLAND, Maine ― Ten residents and two staff members at the Woodlands Memory Care facility have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Wednesday afternoon. 

It’s up from just three positive cases there on Tuesday afternoon, when the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced it had launched an investigation into the outbreak at the 38-bed Rockland assisted-living facility.

The spike in cases comes after the facility received the results of a second round of universal testing conducted at the facility on Sunday. Cases there could balloon as more testing is done on residents and staff in the coming days and weeks.

“We have learned from other experiences in congregate living situations that the number of positive cases will likely increase amongst our 32 residents and more than 20 staff members,” Woodlands Senior Living Managing Member Matthew Walters said.

Woodlands Senior Living operates seven assisted-living facilities across the state, including Woodlands Memory Care of Rockland which provides long-term care to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory impairments.

Woodlands Senior Living also operates Cape Memory Care, in Cape Elizabeth, which was the site of the largest single long-term care facility outbreak in Maine earlier this year. In total, 61 residents and 24 staff members contracted the virus and seven people died. The outbreak began in late May and subsided in early July.

At Woodlands Memory Care of Rockland, a case of COVID-19 was first detected in a staff member Saturday after an initial round of universal testing of all residents and staff was conducted on Thursday. Results from COVID-19 screening typically take about two to three days.

Two additional positive cases were detected over the weekend when two residents were admitted to Pen Bay Medical Center for unrelated medical issues. As part of the hospital’s intake process, the residents were tested for COVID-19 and both results came back positive, despite the residents having tested negative during universal testing conducted by Woodlands last week.

In response to these positive cases, a second round of universal testing was conducted on Sunday. Those results ― which were finalized Tuesday afternoon ― confirmed that an additional six residents tested positive for the virus along with one additional staff member.

By Wednesday afternoon, the CDC said the total cases connected to the facility had risen to 12. 

The facility has been following CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Walters said, and is working to alert designated contacts for all residents as soon as updates about the outbreak are available.

“We know that some residents and staff are showing symptoms, although that changes daily,” Walters said. “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.”