The Star-Herald

Thirteenth resident dies in County nursing home COVID-19 outbreaks

AROOSTOOK COUNTY, Maine — A 13th Aroostook County nursing home resident has died within two weeks as COVID-19 outbreaks continue to afflict facilities in Madawaska, Eagle Lake and Caribou.

The latest death occurred Tuesday at High View Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Madawaska, according to a social media report that evening by administrator Nancy Cote Daigle.

Four other High View residents also died from COVID-19. 

Daigle reported resident deaths on Friday, New Year’s Day, and Saturday, Jan. 2, also via social media. 

The deaths of two other residents at the 51-bed Madawaska facility were made public last Tuesday, Dec. 29. 

As of her Tuesday social media post, Daigle reported 38 residents and 36 employees were positive for the virus at High View. 

“Recovery has started with five residents and one employee,” Daigle reported on Tuesday. “We remain optimistic with this and trust that we will have more [recoveries] tomorrow.”

Three COVID-19 related deaths also occurred at Mercy Home in Eagle Lake.

Northern Maine General reported that a resident died on Monday at the 40-bed Eagle Lake facility. 

COVID-19 deaths of Mercy Home residents were also reported this past Sunday and on Wednesday morning, Dec. 30, 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.

Northern Maine General reported that Mercy Home was subject to a surprise state inspection on Tuesday which found the home in compliance with COVID-19 infection control regulations.

“I am proud of our efforts to keep everyone as safe as humanly possible, especially the efforts of the Mercy Home team who are working tirelessly to protect our residents, most of them elderly, and to protect each other,”  said Northern Maine General CEO Michelle Raymond. 

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.

Five residents of Caribou Rehab and Nursing Center also 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, Dec. 31, according to administrator Phil Cyr. 

On Wednesday Cyr reported no new COVID-19 results and that five residents and eight employees at the 67-bed facility remained in quarantine. 

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 Wednesday, the Maine Center for Disease Control reported 785 cases of COVID-19 in Aroostook County, and 27,090 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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