Maine CDC announces new universal testing standards for congregate care facilities

AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Head of the Maine CDC, Doctor Nirav Shah said Friday that 250 coronavirus sample results from the Department of Corrections have come back negative.

(Photo: Nine News Australia / YouTube)(MGN)

Several hundred tests have been conducted since one inmate at a Windham facility was confirmed positive for COVID-19 this week.

The CDC is also reporting an outbreak at a long-term care facility in Cape Elizabeth.

45 residents and 12 staff have been confirmed positive for the virus at Cape Memory Care.

The facility underwent universal testing after one person tested positive.

This large outbreak plus expanded testing capacity has prompted the Maine CDC to begin performing universal testing for all congregate care facilities once a case is discovered.

Maine's congressional delegation wants universal testing at all nursing homes.

Dr. Shah says there are pros and cons to that method.

He says while this testing would offer us a snapshot of what's going on, it's just that, a snapshot that shows what happened several days ago.

Dr. Shah says, "The process of testing is one that can be uncomfortable and for many elderly individuals, especially those suffering from dementia can be downright bewildering. We have to take that balance into account. Not long ago I spoke with some medical directors of long term care facilities who expressed reservations about that for that reason."

He says there are several things to consider before going down the path of universal testing for all long term care facilities.