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Staff member at Bar Harbor retirement community tests positive for coronavirus, COVID-19

At the recommendation of the CDC, Birch Bay Retirement Village said all staff members were tested for COVID-19 between May 12 and May 14.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — A case of COVID-19 has been detected in a staff member of Birch Bay Retirement Village in Bar Harbor, according to a press release put out by the facility Saturday night.

“The staff member is in isolation at home. We have notified public health officials as required and are following all procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Executive Director Peter Sullivan said. “We are taking every step recommended by our state and federal agencies to contain the spread. We want to make residents, their families, our dedicated staff, and our community aware and reassure everyone that we are proactively addressing the situation.”

Birch Bay Retirement Village said it has been working with Mount Desert Island Hospital, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Human Health and Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to ensure that the highest standards of protective measures are in place and that all recommended safety protocols and procedures have been followed.

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At the recommendation of the CDC, Birch Bay Retirement Village said all staff members were tested for COVID-19 between May 12 and May 14. When the results came back, Birch Bay Village was notified that one residential care staff member had tested positive. 

According to the facility, that staff member is being isolated at home. All residents who had potential contact with the staff member were tested and all had negative results. To date, Birch Bay Village said this staff member’s positive result was the only positive test out of the 60 staff members and 30 residents tested.

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“We are continuing to monitor our residents to ensure that they remain safe and protected during this evaluation period,” Sullivan said. “We have also contacted all staff who we believe may have come into close contact with this staff member and we will be working closely with CDC on continued contact tracing.” All staff members who have had close contact with this positive staff member have been asked to immediately test again. How and when those staff members will be returning to work will be managed in accordance with CDC guidelines.

The Birch Bay Village campus is comprised of 20 retirement cottages and an Inn serving residents of 22 independent living apartments licensed as Assisted Living, and 32 licensed Residential Care suites providing care for those who require supported living and memory care.

“The safety, health and wellbeing of our residents, our community and our staff have always been our number one priority,” Sullivan said. “We will remain vigilant in our efforts to address the novel coronavirus in accordance to the guidelines of our state and federal agencies.”

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