The state expects to reopen the Department of Health and Human Services regional office in Portland on Thursday after it has been thoroughly cleaned. 2015 photo by Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services closed its regional office in Portland on Wednesday after one of its employees tested positive for COVID-19.

The state expects to reopen the office Thursday after it has been thoroughly cleaned, DHHS spokeswoman Jackie Farwell said in a statement.

The state was notified on Tuesday about the employee’s positive test result, which led to all workers in the Portland office to being notified that contact tracers were working to identify employees who may have been exposed to the highly contagious virus.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has identified all close contacts of the affected employee, who was last in the office Sept. 17. The employee is currently in isolation and any close contacts have been placed in quarantine. As of Wednesday, no new cases associated with the Portland office have been identified, Farwell said.

Farwell said the state will reopen the regional office on Thursday in order to ensure that clients have access to critical benefits and services. The Portland office is located at 151 Jetport Blvd., a short distance from the Portland International Jetport.

All DHHS regional offices have implemented appropriate physical distancing measures, require face coverings and use recommended sanitation practices.


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