The Maine Department of Health and Human Services will close its regional office in Rockland for the day on Monday after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

Closure of the office was announced late Sunday afternoon in a statement issued by DHHS spokeswoman Jackie Farwell.

She said the Rockland office will reopen Tuesday after it undergoes a thorough cleaning. Rockland is located in Knox County, which thus far has nine confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

The DHHS was informed of the positive test result on Sunday, and all employees who work in the Rockland office were notified, according to Farwell. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is in the process of identifying people who may have come into close contact with the worker to determine if they should be tested.

The infected state worker last visited the Rockland office nearly two weeks ago and the person’s job does not involving visiting clients at their home or interacting with the public, Farwell said.

The Rockland office will be closed Monday so that it can be throughly cleaned and sanitized following guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Farwell. The DHHS has recently taken steps to limit the number of people working in state offices to prevent the spread of the virus. As of last week, only about 20 people were working out of the Rockland office.

Farwell said in the statement that the decision to reopen the Rockland office Tuesday was deemed necessary so that it can continue to provide critical benefits and services to Maine residents. Appropriate physical distancing measures will remain in place.

Most DHHS staff members are now working remotely. The Department of Administrative and Financial Services estimates that about 70 percent of state employees are working remotely.

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