AUGUSTA — State officials are investigating an outbreak of three COVID-19 cases at the Spectrum store at Marketplace at Augusta.

The three cases — the minimum to be classified an outbreak — were diagnosed in employees of the store at 4 Stephen King Drive.

Lara Pritchard, spokesperson for Spectrum’s parent company, Charter Communications, said the store remained open Thursday, with normal staffing levels.

“Once a positive test was confirmed, we extensively cleaned the location,” Pritchard said, “and have continued to double our enhanced store-cleaning efforts as an additional precautionary measure.”

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention, said during a press briefing earlier this week the agency had opened an investigation into a three-case outbreak at Spectrum.

Robert Long, spokesperson for the Maine CDC, said the agency had opened its investigation Tuesday, including conducting contact tracing.


He said the CDC was also offering information on ways to limit exposure to and transmission of the virus.

Case counts in Maine have continued to increase, with the CDC reporting 346 cases statewide Wednesday, the first daily increase of more than 300 since the pandemic began was declared in March.

Two additional deaths were also reported, bringing the statewide total to 220.

Kennebec County has the fifth-highest case count, behind Cumberland, York, Androscoggin and Penobscot counties. A total of 759 confirmed cases and 117 probable cases have come out of Kennebec County, with 669 recoveries, 65 hospitalizations and 18 deaths.

Pritchard said contact tracing was not necessary for customers who had shopped the Spectrum store in Augusta because none of the employees who tested positive was in “direct contact with customers, as defined by CDC guidelines.”

Pritchard declined to provide information on the three employees’ conditions.

Pritchard said Spectrum employees have been given 15 days of “COVID flex time” for any COVID-related reason.

Employees required to quarantine due to direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 receive full pay and benefits while on leave, without exhausting sick time or other paid time off.

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