maine coronavirus

Maine Coronavirus Death Toll Rises to 19 as Outbreaks in Long-Term Care Facilities Continue

Maine has had three outbreaks of the virus in long-term care facilities.

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Two more Maine residents have died from the coronavirus, bringing the state's total to 19 as of Monday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

There are now 698 confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide, with 110 health care workers who have tested positive for the virus, according to Maine CDC. Out of these cases, 124 Mainers are still hospitalized and 273 have recovered.

Maine CDC said 41 residents and 14 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 at Augusta Center for Health and Rehabilitation in the state’s capital city as of Sunday. One resident died, the agency said.

Eligible health care workers who are responding to the coronavirus are getting up to a $10 raise and a $500 bonus.

"On Monday, Maine CDC will be sending emails to all physicians and nurses in the state of Maine reminding them of the importance of actions that can be taken to preserve the health of residents and staff," Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew said to journalists in a briefing on Monday.

In addition to the Augusta Center, Maine has had previous outbreaks at the Maine Veteran's Home facility in Scarborough and at the Tall Pines Retirement and Health Care Community in Belfast. The agency said it is in regular contact with administrators at the Augusta Center, and elevated protective measures are in place there.

"We are aware of one instance where an individual employee had worked at a number of different facilities," Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah said, confirming that an investigation is underway. "We don't know if that employee has worked at each of these three facilities. We haven't identified a single person that unifies all yet. It is part of our investigation process."

This is not the first time Life Care's handling of the coronavirus has been criticized.

Maine CDC said it has received approximately 116 orders for personal protective equipment in the past 48 hours that will be shipped out on Tuesday morning. Out of these, 77 will be delivered to long-term care facilities, according to Shah.

According to Shah, there are 314 total ICU beds, out of which 158 are available statewide. As for ventilators, Maine has 328, with 283 available. Also, the state said it can count on an additional 234 alternative ventilators.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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