The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention building in Augusta had to be closed this weekend after an outside vendor who was there last week tested positive for COVID-19.

Jackie Farwell, spokeswoman for the Maine Department of Health and Human Service, said in a statement Sunday evening that said the building at 286 Water St. was closed Saturday for sanitizing and cleaning. The building should be ready to reopen on Monday, according to Farwell.

Farwell said a Maine CDC employee at the building came into close contact with the vendor and “is taking recommended precautions.”

The DHHS notified the Maine CDC staff on Saturday that the outside vendor, who visited the building on Tuesday, was confirmed positive for COVID-19. The vendor visited “limited areas of the building,” Farwell said. The state is not identifying the vendor or his or her company in order to comply with privacy requirements, she said.

Maine CDC epidemiologists are in the process of notifying and advising close contacts of the vendor. The Maine CDC employee who came into contact with the infected person has a role in the Augusta office that is not public-facing or central to disease surveillance, Farwell said.

Most Maine CDC staff members throughout Maine are already working remotely as the state tries to limit the number of employees in buildings. Agency employees who work at the Water Street building are currently working remotely. Closure of the Water Street building does not affect testing or distribution of personal protective equipment, which are handled in other Maine CDC facilities, Farwell said.

The Maine CDC says that Mainers can protect their health and prevent the spread of COVID-19 by staying home whenever possible, by practicing physical distancing, and by wearing a face mask when not at home. People should contact their health care provider if they experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as shortness of breath, fever and cough.


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