Maine emergency operations center goes virtual after 7 employees show COVID-19 symptoms
The State Emergency Operations Center was forced to go virtual Thursday after seven people who work at the building all reported coronavirus symptoms.
The building houses the Maine CDC and the Maine Emergency Management Agency.
Three of the employees are from MEMA, two are from Maine CDC and two are National Guard members.
They all called out sick after experiencing the symptoms overnight.
Officials say they don't know how they all could have been exposed on site as safety precautions are followed very strictly.
That includes masks and mid-day wipe downs of work stations.
Aside from that - officials we spoke with at the virtual briefing didn't know how they could have come in contact with coronavirus, if it's determined they did.
"They were all doing the same type of mission," said MEMA Director Peter Rogers. "One could be an operations officer, one could be a planning officer and one could be a logistics officer. So they are all doing that type of work, the administrative push if you will to get things out the door but they are all in that one facility."
"This is one reason why this outbreak is so challenging," said Dr. Nirav Shah. "It spreads very quickly it can spread during that time before individuals have symptoms."
All seven of the employees have been tested and those results are yet to be made public.
We're told state officials who have been in the building - like the Governor, Dr. Shah and department commissioners - have not been in close contact with the affected individuals.