A test technician takes a self-administered swab from a woman at the COVID-19 mobile testing site at Great Falls Plaza in Auburn on Friday. Technicians with Promerica Health directed about 140 people on how to administer the free test within the first five hours the test site was open, Andy Gendron of Promerica said. Results are returned by email within four days, Gendron said. Positive results are followed up by a phone call, Gendron said. Free test appointments can be scheduled at covidtestforme.com. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — A COVID-19 outbreak at the Russell Park Rehabilitation and Living Center in Lewiston has resulted in three deaths and has grown to 129 cases, 64 among residents.

The update Friday marks a troubling growth in cases from the state’s previous update, which reported 72 positive tests at Russell Park on Monday.

The outbreak has now reached two-thirds of the center’s 94 residents.

Maine Center for Disease Control spokesman Robert Long confirmed the numbers Friday. During a CDC news conference Friday, Dr. Nirav Shah said three additional Russell Park residents were hospitalized.

Shah also said the CDC is continuing to work with officials at Russell Park to make sure “all resource requests are being met.”

People line up at the COVID-19 mobile testing site at Great Falls Plaza in Auburn on Friday. Members of the Maine Army National Guard and Maine Air National Guard are on hand to provide infrastructure support and traffic control. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

The announcement Friday came as the state reported a record 243 new cases, and the Maine Department of Education gave Androscoggin County schools a yellow designation, which will likely impact extracurricular activities at schools already using a hybrid model.

Lewiston Superintendent Jake Langlais issued a statement Friday that all athletic activities are suspended.

He said any activities associated with extracurricular activities or athletics must be conducted virtually or postponed until further notice. The district’s educational cohorts​ ​remain the same, he said.

“We continue to be vigilant with the information we have and as it becomes available to inform our next steps,” he said.

In Androscoggin County, the 14-day new case rate as well as the positivity rate tripled in the past week, from 6.6 to 20.7 new cases per 10,000 and 0.8% to 2.4%.

The outbreak at Russell Park was first announced a week ago, with 64 total cases among residents and staff.

Shah said CDC investigators are looking to five new outbreaks Friday, including at the Faith Bible College International in Charlestown; Husson University in Bangor; Lawrence Junior High School in Fairfield; Portland High School and the Skowhegan Elks Lodge.

On Tuesday, state officials said investigators were looking into specific outbreaks involving the Maine Nordiques hockey team in Lewiston, the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn, the child care program at Community Concepts, Guy E. Rowe Elementary School in Norway and Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris.

Since Nov. 1, the state has reported 1,924 new cases.

Andy Gendron, left, of Promerica Health and Sgt. Chad Cleaves of the Maine Army National Guard position cones to accommodate the number of people coming to the COVID-19 mobile testing site at Great Falls Plaza in Auburn on Friday. The site is open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Free test appointments can be scheduled at covidtestforme.com. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

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