St. John Valley

Another resident dies bringing to 8 the number of COVID-19 deaths from outbreaks at Aroostook County nursing homes

Another Aroostook County nursing home resident has died as COVID-19 outbreaks afflict facilities in Caribou, Madawaska and Eagle Lake.

The death of a resident Thursday at Caribou Rehab and Nursing Center brings to eight the number of Aroostook County nursing home residents who have died from the virus within the past week.

Five of those deaths occurred at the Caribou facility, according to administrator Phil Cyr.

One person died Christmas Day and two more on Monday. By Tuesday afternoon, a fourth resident had died from the virus, followed by the fifth resident death on Thursday.

Six patients tested positive for the virus on Dec. 21, and the number grew to 44 by Christmas Day. In addition to the 44 residents, 27 Caribou Rehab employees tested positive for the virus as of Tuesday evening.

Thirteen patients have recovered and seven more were off quarantine as of Thursday, New Year’s Eve, Cyr said. There were no new cases of the virus among residents or staff at the 67-bed facility, he said.

On Tuesday, 57 Caribou Rehab employees and three residents received COVID-19 vaccines.

The deaths of two residents at the 51-bed High View Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Madawaska were made public Tuesday evening by administrator Nancy Cote Daigle.

At that time, the total afflicted in the outbreak at the Madawaska facility was 36 residents and 14 employees.

Those numbers increased on Wednesday to 38 residents and 21 staff members testing positive for the virus, according to a social media post by Daigle.

A resident of Mercy Home in Eagle Lake also died Tuesday.

Mercy Home, a 40-bed nursing facility in Eagle Lake, also has reported a COVID-19 outbreak.

The death of the Mercy Home resident was reported Wednesday morning by administrator Denise Raymond.

“It’s been hard on everyone,” Raymond said. “Our residents are like family; and to some of them, we are their ‘family.’ Most of them are elderly or otherwise vulnerable to this devastating virus. Our sympathies go out to the family.”

Thirteen residents and nine employees were confirmed to have active COVID-19 infections at the Eagle Lake facility, Northern Maine General said Wednesday.

Another 16 suspected resident cases are awaiting further lab confirmation, and one employee has recovered from the virus since the outbreak began.

No new information regarding the outbreak was posted as of Thursday morning on the Northern Maine General webpage.

On Monday, St. John Valley Pharmacy hosted a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Mercy Home where 24 residents and 54 employees and affiliated staff received the vaccine.

A similar outbreak occurred at another Aroostook County nursing facility earlier in December.

Five people died and 27 were infected during a COVID-19 outbreak at Presque Isle Rehab and Nursing Center.

On Thursday, the Maine Center for Disease Control reported 617 cases of COVID-19 in Aroostook County, and 24,201 in the state.

As of Dec. 20, 749 nursing home residents in Maine have been infected with COVID-19, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Of those, 122 have died as a result of the virus.

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