AUBURN — More than 550 residents, employees and contract help at Clover Health Care on Minot Avenue have been tested for COVID-19 following an outbreak that has infected four employees and one resident.

Three of the employees and the one resident are asymptomatic, Administrator Cindy Quinlan said.

Four staff members and a resident have tested positive for COVID-19 at Clover Health Care in Auburn. Buy this Photo

“At the Clover facility, there have now been one resident and four staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19,” Dr. Nirav D. Shah, the director of the Maine Center of Disease Control and Prevention, said during Monday’s news briefing. “Given that outbreak, the facility is now commencing with universal testing. And sending samples to Maine CDC’s laboratory in waves.

“Overall, there will be 550 samples that will be tested over the coming day or two, 200 of which have been tested thus far,” he added.

Clover has set up a COVID unit for infected residents.

In a series of Facebook posts beginning last week, Clover Health Care announced that four staff members and a resident tested positive for COVID-19.

Following the third positive test Saturday, Quinlan contacted the Maine CDC, which gave Clover “the green light to take the proactive step to test the entire Clover community,” according to its Facebook page.

Quinlan said that means more than 550 individuals. Those tests were completed Monday and sent to the Maine CDC lab in Augusta, with nurses from Androscoggin Home Health helping to administer the tests.

Because of the large number of tests, Quinlan expects results back by Wednesday.

Clover, which takes temperature readings and asks its staff a series of questions every day since March, discovered it might have a problem Monday, May 11, when one of its nurses reported she was having coronavirus-like symptoms the day after her evening shift. She was tested May 12 and received the positive results Thursday.

That day, they tested 70 individuals on the Kerry unit — all residents and staff who had worked on that unit.

The resident who tested positive Saturday lives in a different unit in a private room. Since all staff and residents are required to wear masks and all staff must wear gloves, its is uncertain how the resident came into contact with the virus.

“We may never know how she was infected,” Quinlan said.

The nurse who was reported Sunday afternoon to have tested positive was asymptomatic, according to Clover’s Facebook post Sunday evening. All the tests of residents taken Saturday have been negative, according to Clover.

A conference call was held Monday afternoon to keep families informed about the situation and allow them to ask questions. Quinlan explained the work the staff is doing to try to avoid spreading the virus.

The next step won’t be known until at least Wednesday, when all the test results are expected.

“We’ll be waiting for guidance from the Maine CDC on when to retest,” Quinlan said.

 

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