The Maine Center for Disease Control last evening reported an outbreak of COVID-19 at an assisted living community in Cape Elizabeth.

Forty-five of the residents and another dozen staff members at Cape Memory Care have tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Cape Memory Care manager Matthew Walters said "It is staggering how quickly and quietly COVID-19 moves, and its ability to impact people and communities that are taking every possible step to prevent it.”

The Maine CDC reported Thursday, May 21, 58 new cases of coronavirus in the state with no deaths. Aroostook County now has only two active cases.

Maine.gov issued a press release Friday about the outbreak at Cape Memory Care on Thursday.

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The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) today confirmed an outbreak of COVID-19 at Cape Memory Care in Cape Elizabeth, a residential care facility for individuals with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. A total of 57 individuals associated with the facility had tested positive as of this evening.

After one individual associated with Cape Memory Care tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, Maine CDC facilitated 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.

Maine CDC's outbreak response team is working closely with Cape Memory Care staff to support the health of individuals associated with the care center. 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, May 22, 2020.

The Mills Administration has taken numerous actions to support the state's congregate living settings. This includes being among the first states in the nation to conduct universal testing at nursing facilities when an outbreak of COVID-19 is confirmed. Maine provides an emergency cache of PPE to facilities with outbreaks and provides same-day support and guidance. Since March, the Maine CDC has hosted weekly calls for long-term care facilities to provide information and guidance. In recent weeks, DHHS intensified its engagement, including out facilities, virtual meetings with medical directors, and communications to all doctors and nurses in Maine on best practices for the safety of long-term care facility residents and staff.

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