LEWISTON — One resident has died during Marshwood Center’s COVID-19 outbreak and cases continue to climb at both that long-term care facility and at Central Maine Medical Center, where a patient from Marshwood appears to have started an outbreak.

Genesis Healthcare, the Pennsylvania for-profit company that owns Marshwood, confirmed Tuesday that a resident died. Little else is publicly known about that person. The Maine Center for Disease Control said Tuesday that a man in his 70s, from Androscoggin County, recently died, but a CDC spokesman declined to say whether he had been a Marshwood resident. Marshwood is located in Androscoggin County.

Marshwood’s outbreak began last week, when 11 people tested positive, including eight residents and three staff members. According to the CDC, 21 people have now tested positive, including 13 residents and 8 staff members. Testing there continues.

“Results should be available, most likely, on Thursday,” CDC Director Nirav Shah said during his regular COVID-19 press briefing on Tuesday. “From there we’ll have a sense of how the disease interventions strategies the Maine CDC has been working with Marshwood on, how that has changed the course of the outbreak at that facility.”

Genesis spokeswoman Lori Mayer noted that many of the people who have so far tested positive at Marshwood are not showing symptoms.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by COVID-19, especially the family of the one resident that passed away,” she said in an email Tuesday.

At CMMC, according to hospital officials, 12 staff members and two patients have tested positive — including an intensive care unit patient who arrived from Marshwood on July 15 and who hospital officials believe started CMMC’s outbreak.

Last week, six CMMC employees and one patient tested positive.

As it handles its own outbreak, CMMC is now prohibiting almost all visitors, except for those at the hospital to see a child, a woman in labor or a patient who is dying. It is also prohibiting all outside food, flowers and gifts for patients. The hospital’s gift shop and fitness center were scheduled to reopen this week, but they will now remain closed.

CMMC is working with the CDC to address its outbreak, including notifying anyone who  may have been exposed to the virus. CMMC spokeswoman Kate Carlisle could not say how many people may have been exposed because that number “has been evolving.”

Citing privacy concerns, Carlisle declined to provide any information about the employees, including where in the hospital they worked. She said she was unable to provide any information about the second patient who tested positive, including whether they were in the ICU with the patient from Marshwood.

Carlisle said CMMC staff members follow strict safety protocols at all times, even when dealing with patients who have tested negative for the virus, as the patient from Marshwood did initially.

“Masks and rigorous hand hygiene are required in all of our facilities and for all patient-facing team members,” she said, adding that “our PPE (personal protective equipment) and cleaning guidelines are consistently reinforced.”

“That healthcare workers all over the world have contracted this virus while working, and doing their utmost to follow the strictest procedures possible, illustrates that this is difficult work,” she said.

Marshwood Center in Lewiston (Sun Journal file photo) Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Central Maine Medical Center (Sun Journal file photo) Central Maine Medical Center photo


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