The Penobscot McCrum potato processing plant in Belfast. Credit: Abigail Curtis / BDN

BELFAST, Maine — The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has opened a third COVID-19 outbreak investigation in Waldo County. This one is centered on the Penobscot McCrum potato processing plant in Belfast.

There are nine cases associated with the business, Robert Long, the spokesperson for the Maine CDC, said Tuesday morning.

Dayna McCrum, the human resources manager at Penobscot McCrum, said Tuesday that the company continues to encourage employees who are not feeling well or who have symptoms that could be COVID-19 to get tested. According to a 2016 promotional video, Penobscot McCrum employed 180 people at the Belfast processing plant.

“Penobscot McCrum is currently investigating any possible cases of COVID-19 and is following state and federal guidelines pertaining to positive test results for employees,” she said. “Penobscot McCrum has been and will continue to investigate COVID-19 cases on a case by case basis and follow current CDC guidance and safety measures needed.”

The other two outbreak investigations in the county, which in recent weeks has been a hotspot for the disease in Maine, are at Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast and at Calvary Chapel Belfast in Searsmont.

Jen Harris, a spokesperson for the hospital, on Tuesday said that a total of eight staff members and no patients have tested positive for the disease. She said that the hospital’s internal contact tracing to date indicates that the employee cases identified since July do not share a common link.

“In most, if not all, of the cases, a likely exposure outside of work has been identified,” she said.