AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine CDC confirmed an outbreak of COVID-19 Thursday night at Cape Memory Care in Cape Elizabeth, a residential care facility for people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. A total of 57 people associated with the facility had tested positive.
After one person associated with Cape Memory Care tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, Maine CDC facilitated the collection of samples from approximately 100 people affiliated with the facility. Those samples were sent to Maine CDC’s Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory for expedited testing. That testing revealed additional positive results today, for a total of 45 residents and 12 staff. Additional test results are pending.
"As soon as we were informed that one of our staff members tested positive, we immediately arranged for universal testing of both staff and residents, Cape Memory Care Managing Member Matthew Walters said in a statement Thursday.
"While a few residents began showing some symptoms on the day universal testing was conducted, we previously had no reason to believe there were any COVID-positive cases in this community.”
“We have a plan in place to deal with this situation, and it is being implemented immediately while working with a dedicated team at the Maine CDC. The health and safety of our residents continue to be our top priority," Walters continued.
As is the protocol when an outbreak is confirmed, Maine CDC supplied additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection control guidance to the facility. Maine CDC is also working with the facility to support its staffing plan.
Representatives of Cape Memory Care informed Maine CDC that they alerted family members about the outbreak. Maine CDC facilitated universal testing at the facility after the first confirmed case due to its medically vulnerable population. With the expansion of its capacity to conduct COVID-19 testing at the state laboratory, Maine CDC today implemented a new policy for testing at congregate living settings.
Going forward, Maine CDC will facilitate universal testing at all congregate living facilities in Maine upon the first confirmed case. This updated policy was enabled by the recent major expansion of Maine’s testing capacity, which allowed Maine CDC to eliminate its testing prioritization system. The agency will issue revised guidance through the Health Alert Network.
The additional cases at Cape Memory Care will be reflected in the COVID-19 data that Maine CDC will post on Friday.
Thursday morning, Senator Collins held a hearing on caring for seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus