RUMFORD – Nearly 50 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and four have died due to complications from the virus related to an outbreak at Rumford Community Home, an 84-bed skilled nursing and assisted living facility in Oxford County.

Central Maine Healthcare, the facility’s parent company, confirmed in a statement Monday evening that 36 residents and 11 staff members at the facility have tested positive since Oct. 7. Four of the 36 residents have died due to complications from COVID-19.

The outbreak began Oct. 7, when an employee of the facility tested positive, according to a post on Rumford Community Home’s Facebook page earlier this month.

The following day, a resident was brought to an emergency department at a local hospital, where they tested positive for COVID. The hospital was not specified. Nearby Rumford Hospital is also a part of CMH.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention opened an outbreak investigation at the facility on Oct. 7 and it remained open as of Monday morning, Maine CDC spokesperson Robert Long said.

CMH sent medical providers to administer monoclonal antibodies to residents “who qualified for that treatment protocol,” the statement said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization last November for the use of the monoclonal antibody treatment, REGEN-COV, for mild to moderate COVID-19. REGEN-COV is administered via intravenous injection and clinical trials have shown that it reduces the risk of hospitalization in high-risk COVID-19 patients.

The facility has been in contact with the families of the residents, Peter Wright said in a prepared statement. Wright is president of Bridgton and Rumford hospitals and CMH’s long-term care division and vice president of operations at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

“The health and safety of our residents and team members at Rumford Community Home is our top priority,” Wright said. “We cannot afford to let our guard down, given the seriousness of this outbreak among an elderly population.”

As of Oct. 3, 86.2% of staff and 86.7% of residents were fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. It is not clear how many of the residents and employees who tested positive for COVID were fully vaccinated.


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