12th resident dies in County nursing home COVID-19 outbreaks

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

The death of a resident on Monday at Mercy Home in Eagle Lake brings to 12 the number of Aroostook County nursing home residents who have died from the virus in less than two weeks.

Three of those deaths occurred at the 40-bed Eagle Lake facility. 

Northern Maine General reported Monday’s death on the organization’s webpage on Tuesday morning. 

COVID-19 deaths of Mercy Home residents were also reported on Sunday and on Wednesday morning, Dec. 29, by administrator Denise Raymond. 

Twenty-six residents and eight employees were confirmed to have active COVID-19 at the Eagle Lake facility, Northern Maine General said Tuesday, with five suspected resident cases awaiting lab confirmation.

On Monday, Dec. 28, 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.

Four residents at High View Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Madawaska also died from COVID-19, according to administrator Nancy Cote Daigle. 

Daigle reported the most recent deaths on Friday, New Year’s Day, and Saturday, Jan. 2, via social media. 

The deaths of two other residents at the 51-bed Madawaska facility were made public last Tuesday, Dec. 28. 

On Monday evening, Daigle reported 37 residents and 36 employees were positive for the virus at High View. 

Five residents of Caribou Rehab and Nursing Center died from COVID-19. 

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

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 Dec. 28. 

Thirteen patients have recovered and seven more were off quarantine as of Thursday, Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve, Cyr said.

As of Tuesday morning, eight more employees had tested positive for COVID-19, but there were no new cases of the virus among residents at the 67-bed facility, Cyr said. 

The remaining five Caribou rehab residents positive for COVID-19 would be considered recovered as of Friday evening, Cyr said. 

On Tuesday, Dec. 28, 57 Caribou Rehab employees and three residents received COVID-19 vaccines. 

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 Tuesday, the Maine Center for Disease Control reported 764 cases of COVID-19 in Aroostook County, and 26,565 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.
Clarification: An earlier version of this story was unclear about what Monday the COVID-19 vaccination clinic occurred at Mercy Home. It was Monday, Dec. 28, 2020.

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