LEWISTON — Two more residents have died in the COVID-19 outbreak at Marshwood Center and cases there continue to rise.

Two more residents have tested positive, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That brings Marshwood’s case count to 23, more than twice the number there last week when the outbreak was discovered.

Eight staff members and 15 residents have tested positive at the long-term care facility at 33 Roger St. Earlier this week, one resident died from the virus. Genesis Healthcare, the Pennsylvania for-profit company that owns Marshwood, confirmed Friday that two more residents have also died from COVID-19.

Little is publicly known about the residents who died. The Maine Center for Disease Control said earlier this week 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. On Friday, the CDC said a man in his 60s from Androscoggin County had died. Marshwood is in Androscoggin County.

A Marshwood resident is believed to have kicked off an outbreak at Central Maine Medical Center while being treated in the hospital’s intensive care unit. Cases there remain at 14, with 12 staff members and two patients testing positive.

Marshwood has about 80 residents and 125 staff members. A spokeswoman for Genesis Healthcare said cases have not been confined to a particular section of the long-term care facility.

“We have had cases throughout the building, but upon a positive test, we are cohorting all positive residents on one unit,” spokeswoman Lori Mayer said.

Marshwood had been following strict safety protocols, according to Genesis’ chief medical officer, including screening residents for symptoms three times a day, screening and taking the temperatures of staff when they enter the building, and restricting visitors. Mayer said it’s unclear how the outbreak started.

“As a nation, we just do not know yet exactly how the virus is being transmitted, so we stay as hyper-vigilant as we can, and as we learn more, we implement more and more safety precautions. For example, research shows that people can be asymptomatic, but carrying the virus and spreading it,” Mayer said in an email. “It is a complex virus that is hard to detect and can take weeks to present itself. By the time you have a positive test result, many may have already been exposed. We will likely never really know who or what started the outbreak at Marshwood Center.”

Testing there continues.

Marshwood Center, a long-term care facility at 33 Roger St. in Lewiston, has had 15 residents and eight staff members test positive for the coronavirus since July 20. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file photo


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