CDC investigating after 2 Maine hospitals report COVID-19 staff outbreaks

State CDC officials are investigating COVID-19 outbreaks among staff at Portland-based Maine Medical Center and Belfast, Maine-based Waldo County General Hospital, reports The Portland Press Herald.

Since last week, nine healthcare workers at Maine Medical Center's emergency department have tested positive for the virus. Some of the staff members were fully vaccinated. The hospital contacted all patients potentially exposed to COVID-19, though no positive cases among exposed patients have been reported.

"In accordance with CDC guidance, [Maine Medical Center] has tested its full ED team and is further expanding testing to evaluate ED support staff," the hospital said in a statement cited by the Press Herald. "We will continue to test the ED team at regular intervals."

State officials are also investigating an outbreak involving eight workers at Waldo County General Hospital.

"Following CDC guidelines, the colleagues are in isolation at home," hospital spokesperson Jenifer Harris said in a statement cited by the Press Herald. "Everyone considered to be close contacts with those who tested positive has been informed. It is believed that the cases are an indication of community spread in Waldo County, which is considered a high transmission county by the CDC."

New daily COVID-19 cases in Maine have risen 129 percent over the last two weeks, with 10 cases reported per 100,000 people, according to data tracked by The New York Times.  

In terms of percentage of the state's population fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Maine currently ranks third in the nation.


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