Portland's Barron Center on Brighton Avenue serves as both the city hospital and as a long-term nursing facility. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

PORTLAND, Maine — Thirteen residents at the Barron Center have died since early January following a COVID-19 outbreak at the state’s largest long-term care facility.

Officials there have struggled to slow community transmission of the virus at the city-operated senior-living facility since the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention opened an investigation there on Nov. 21.

The outbreak has strained the ability to staff the facility, which provides nursing and rehabilitation services to 138 residents at a complex in Portland’s Nasons Corner neighborhood.

The facility has “three staff who are positive and returning this week and 15 positive residents” as of Tuesday, city spokesperson Jessica Grondin said.

Barron Center has consolidated its residential units, juggled staffing and trained nurses per the state’s emergency staffing plan.

Nursing homes, assisted-living and other long-term care facilities have seen the largest outbreaks in the state since the pandemic began, and have grown more frequent as the winter progresses.

Maine CDC investigated a COVID-19 outbreak at Barron Center on May 30, 2020, with one resident and three staff testing positive for the virus.