The Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center in Madison on Wednesday. The center is restricting visitors after and employee tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

MADISON — Visitors have not been permitted at the Maplecrest Rehabilitation & Living Center since Tuesday after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

 

In a Facebook post the center at 174 Main St. shared that they are working with local and state health officials to stop the spread of the virus in the facility.

A patient at the facility, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that residents were told individually and that all administration and higher level nurses are now required to wear face shields.

Mary Jane Richards, chief operating officer at North Country Associates, which oversees Maplecrest, said that all staff and residents will be tested Wednesday, though she is confident that results will come back negative. She said that the staff member who tested positive has not worked in a while. She estimates that there are about 50 residents at the facility and 70 staff members.

It is unclear, she added, if the employee was showing symptoms prior to being tested.

“It’s been a little while since the person even worked,” Richards said. “Under extreme caution, we wanted to make sure that everyone is tested.”

She expects test results in the next 24 to 48 hours.

As a precautionary measure, the facility is not allowing any visitors, following guidelines by the Maine Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Families are being encouraged to connect with residents through video chat, calling, texting or through social media. The facility said that family members would be contacted if a resident is suspected or diagnosed with COVID-19, the Facebook post said.

Before the report of the employee’s positive test, Richards said, the only visits allowed at the facility were compassionate visits for residents who were on hospice care.

Outdoor visits were also allowed, following guidelines provided by Maine CDC. Visitors were required to come in masks, answer screening questions and have their temperature checked before entering the building.

Employees are also screened before entering. They are allowed to bring in their own food, but it must be brought directly to break rooms. So far, Richards said that no employee has screened out or been sent home.

A patient at the facility, who wishes to remain anonymous, said there has been concern for a while after it was noticed that some staff members stopped wearing masks or stopped wearing them correctly.

“In the beginning, all of the staff were very good about wearing their masks correctly,” the patient said. “But little by little, some, not all, started to pull them down from their noses. Then some just started pulling them down around their chin.”

The patient said that those staff members wear masks correctly when the administrator or director of nursing is present.

Richards said she was not aware of this, but would speak with the administrator at the facility.

Though the situation is unsettling and overwhelming, the patient admits feeling safe in the facility because of the staff.

“I love the people who work with me,” the patient said. “That’s the reason I never (asked) them to fix their masks. I trust them and don’t want to be a hassle. I regret being silent.”

Residents who are not alone in their rooms are required to wear masks, the patient added, though sometimes in certain circumstances, residents may opt to not wear one.

“With a lot of guidance and encouraging,” Richards said, “(staff members) try to change that. Sometimes residents don’t want to. It’s likely only residents choosing not to wear one.”

“Maplecrest is a really good facility with a strong, strong staff,” she added. “I am hopeful that all testing will come back negative.”

The employee who has tested positive will remain out of work until she is symptom free and through the incubation period, Richards said.

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