Orono nursing home to test all residents and staff as patient tests positive for COVID-19

All residents and staff at an Orono nursing facility will be tested for the coronavirus after a single patient recently admitted from a local hospital tested positive.

The testing at Orono Commons — a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility — will take place Tuesday, according to Dr. Richard Feifer, chief medical officer for Orono Commons’ Pennsylvania-based parent company, Genesis HealthCare.

The patient tested positive while still in a special quarantine unit after being admitted from an area hospital, Feifer said, which likely minimized the risk of exposure to other patients and staff at the 80-bed facility. Patients stay in that unit for 14 days, where they are tested twice — on days four and 12 of the quarantine — and monitored every eight hours for symptoms of COVID-19, Feifer said.

Feifer called the universal testing a precaution. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends universal testing when facilities report a single case, a change from earlier in the spring when the agency recommended universal testing after three cases due to what was then a limited supply of tests.

Maine continues to address outbreaks at a number of nursing homes in the state that have accounted for hundreds of coronavirus cases and, as of earlier this month, more than half of the state’s coronavirus-related deaths. The virus can transmit easily in nursing homes, where residents live in close quarters and are more susceptible to its complications.

While Maine has seen its largest outbreaks in nursing homes, it has some of the nation’s lowest rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths among nursing home residents.

This story was originally published on bangordailynews.com

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