Two nurses walk by a nursing home entrance
Staff return to Stillwater Health Care nursing home in Bangor on April 21, 2020. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN

Maine saw eight new COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care centers last week, reflecting a rise in cases across the state.

The eight outbreaks included one at Stillwater Health Care in Bangor, where a preliminary state investigation found 17 residents and 10 employees had tested positive, according to Robert Long, spokesperson for the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Maine nursing homes have been hard hit by COVID-19 outbreaks since the onset of the pandemic. Early on, they accounted for a substantial portion of the state’s cases and a majority of COVID-19 deaths. Nursing homes have encountered new waves of outbreaks with every virus surge. However, outbreaks in those settings grew less deadly after the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.

“The availability of vaccines, including boosters, and therapeutic treatments means that staff at Maine long-term care facilities have more tools to limit the impact of the virus on their communities,” said Long, who didn’t provide a list of all eight homes with new outbreaks. 

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Angela Westhoff, president of the Maine Health Care Association, which represents nursing homes, said the rise in nursing home outbreaks served as “a good reminder for the public when visiting long-term care facilities to be sure to follow all infection control protocols.” 

Stillwater Health Care didn’t return requests for comment on the most recent staff and resident case numbers and COVID-19 protocols.

The facility’s offerings include short-stay rehabilitation for those transitioning out of the hospital, skilled nursing care for injury recovery and long term care for those requiring full-time services, according to its website. 

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Kathleen O'Brien

Kathleen O'Brien is a reporter covering the Bangor area. Born and raised in Portland, she joined the Bangor Daily News in 2022 after working as a Bath-area reporter at The Times Record. She graduated from...