FARMINGTON — An outbreak of COVID-19 has been reported at Woodlands Senior Living.

“Maine CDC opened an outbreak investigation at Woodlands Senior Living in Farmington on Jan. 1,” Robert Long Maine with Maine CDC wrote in an email Tuesday, Jan. 5. “The initial outbreak investigation involved cases among four residents and one staff member. Maine CDC’s outbreak investigation team is working directly with administrators at the facility, who could provide current case numbers for residents and staff.”

Several attempts to reach Woodlands owner Matthew Walters were unsuccessful.

Chris Hollingsworth, whose mother is a patient in the Memory Care center at Woodlands shared a letter Wednesday sent Monday by the facility.

The letter states in part, “We received results this afternoon from the 124 COVID-19 test samples taken on Saturday, January 2, and have learned that three additional residents in Memory Care have tested positive for COVID-19. All residents of assisted living, park residences and all staff members tested on January 2 remain negative. This brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 positive cases at Woodlands Memory Care of Farmington to seven residents and one staff as of today.”

The residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 are being cohorted in specific sections of the building to most effectively isolate them from nonpositive residents, while maintaining memory care best practices, the letter continues.

Additional steps being taken at Woodlands include:

•Contracting with Androscoggin Home Health to provide additional health monitoring and support including:
• Personal Home health services for residents who have tested positive for COVID-19.
• Telehealth monitoring of vital signs, oxygen saturations, symptoms reported by our staff for all Memory Care residents.
• Partnering with a Nurse Practitioner from Franklin Memorial Health to oversee and respond to the emerging medical needs of residents who may decline.
• A group оf dedicated staff members from within the organization have been assigned to
Farmington for the next two weeks (or longer if necessary) to provide additional support and supplement the Farmington staff.

Another universal round of testing was planned Jan. 5, according to the letter.

The letter concluded, “While our hope is that we receive positive news from this next testing round, we are preparing for additional positive cases simply based on how quickly and quietly the virus progresses.

“Thank you for your tremendous support. Woodlands Senior Living of Farmington is committed to open and timely communication and we will keep you informed of new information as soon as it is available.”

Hollingsworth in a phone interview Wednesday said that staff have been saying everybody in the Memory Care center will probably get COVID-19.

“They can’t keep them apart, even though they’re trying,” he said. “When I talk personally to them (staff), they say, ‘If a patient wants to go in another area, staff try to redirect them but can’t stop them.'”

The Facebook page of Chunzeng Wang, posts University of Maine Presque Isle’s Maine COVID-19 daily situation map, which also includes data for all Maine counties. According to the daily updates, over the weekend, Franklin County had 10 new and active cases. Monday there were five new cases and 18 on Tuesday. Wednesday data showed nine new cases and eight active cases in Franklin County.

“Community transmission in Franklin County is widespread, likely resulting in increased daily case counts. The best things that Maine people can do to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities remains wearing face coverings in public, staying at least 6 feet apart, and limiting interaction with non-household members,” Long wrote.

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