About a day after a patient at Cedar Ridge Center in Skowhegan tested positive for COVID-19, the remainder of the staff and patients in the building are being tested.

A spokesperson at Cedar Ridge Center confirmed Tuesday that a patient tested positive for COVID-19. Details about the patient were not provided other than the person was tested within the previous 24 hours and had been showing symptoms prior to the test.

On Wednesday, all residents and staff are being tested: approximately 90 residents and 130 staff members. Results are expected within 24 hours. It is not yet known if anyone who has come in contact with the patient has been quarantined.

The patient that tested positive is being taken care of in an isolated room at the facility in Skowhegan.

“This is a rapidly evolving situation,” said Lori Mayer, spokesperson for Cedar Ridge Center. “And one that is being played out in communities, hospitals and nursing homes across the country and the world. Despite all of the preventative steps nursing homes are taking, the virus is still making its way into nursing homes across the nation.”

When looking at how the patient got the virus, Mayer said they may never know how coronavirus entered the building because of how complex the virus is and how hard it can be to detect it.


“People can be asymptomatic but positive, and the virus can take weeks to present itself,” Mayer said. “By the time you have a positive test result, many may have already been exposed, no matter what precautions have been taken. We may never really know how the virus entered the building.”

Chief Medical Officer Richard Feifer said in an email Tuesday that the facility has taken several steps to prevent the spread of the virus, including screening residents and patients three times a day for symptoms, actively screening and taking temperatures of all staff upon entering the building, requiring all staff to wear personal protective equipment, restricting visitations with exceptions, canceling all outside medical appointments that are not immediately medically necessary and implementing video calls between patients and their families.

Feifer said that the facility is following protocols and guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

All patients and their families have been notified that a person has tested positive at the center, and they are being updated regularly.

“We are doing everything in our power — and everything medical experts know at this time — to protect our patients, residents and employees,” Feifer said.

“In fact, we believe it’s better to overreact than underreact in the face of a pandemic.”

Skowhegan’s Cedar Ridge Center is a nursing facility at 23 Cedar Ridge Drive that offers post-hospital, short-term rehabilitation for individuals recovering from an illness or injury and appropriate services for those requiring long-term and respite care.

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