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MDI hospital reports several COVID-19 cases; concerned about undetected cases

In a Facebook post, Mount Desert Island Hospital raises concern about COVID-19 cases going undetected due to out-of-state visitors and the way cases are counted.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

MOUNT DESERT, Maine — After several months without a positive COVID-19 test result, Mount Desert Island Hospital says it has seen three new cases in the last week.

Aside from that, in a Facebook post, the hospital says it is hearing from tourists and people from out-of-state who were tested before traveling here and got a positive result back after arriving. 

The hospital says those positive cases are going somewhat undetected in the state because they aren't reflected in the current numbers we see reported.

The U.S. CDC lists numbers based on where someone lives, not where they were when they got a positive test.  

To address this, MDI Hospital says their COVID-19 team is providing counseling and contact tracing assistance when we receive these calls, but warns, there is currently no mechanism to alert them when a positive result is received by a visitor in our community if they do not reach out to alert the hospital.

The hospital currently has a partnership with the Downeast COVID-19 Task Force to provide asymptomatic workforce testing to a cohort of front-facing tourism workers. 

They say the goal of the program is to detect any potential COVID-19 outbreaks as early as possible, which will not only protect front-facing tourism employees but help limit exposure for the entire community. 

At this point, the project has a zero positivity rate. 

Any positive results from this pilot will be included in the case count on the hospital's website.