A man in his 80s who lives at OceanView at Falmouth is hospitalized with COVID-19. The private senior community said Tuesday that all residents have been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, visitors are being restricted and only essential staff and traffic are being allowed on the campus. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Maine’s long-term care facilities continue to take steps to protect residents from potential coronavirus infection as the number of reported cases across the state rises.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 32 coronavirus cases Tuesday, up from 17 the previous day, including 23 confirmed by state labs and nine presumed positive pending further review.

None of the new cases was identified as a resident of a nursing home or assisted-living facility. Such facilities are of special concern because the virus poses the most severe risks for older people with underlying medical problems.

A majority of new cases involved adults in their 50s and 60s, and one was a child under age 10 in Androscoggin County. However, among the previously identified cases was a man in his 80s who lives at OceanView at Falmouth, a private senior community that includes independent, assisted-living and dementia-care residences.

On Tuesday, the man was still being treated at Maine Medical Center in Portland, while another person from his household was isolating at home, said Jason Sulham, spokesman for OceanView.

Neither OceanView nor Maine Med would identify the man or describe his medical condition.

Sulham said OceanView continues to follow prevention measures announced Sunday after the two COVID-19 cases were identified: all residents have been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days; visitors to campus are being restricted; and only essential staff and traffic are being allowed on campus.

Now, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has been found in seven of Maine’s 16 counties: Cumberland, York, Oxford, Lincoln, Knox, Androscoggin and Kennebec.

And members of the Maine Health Care Association, which represents more than 200 nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, are focused on minimizing the spread of coronavirus to some of the most vulnerable populations.

“The safety and well-being of residents and staff are always the highest priority,” said Rick Erb, head of the association.

Erb said he was unaware of any additional coronavirus cases reported among Maine nursing homes or assisted-living facilities.

Erb said association members have been advised to implement federal and state recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as screening visitors at a single entrance, stopping anyone who’s sick from entering and providing other ways to visit family members, including online access.

“We find family members are supportive of these efforts because they know we’re doing what’s best for their loved ones,” Erb said.

To decrease environmental contamination, association members are regularly cleaning commonly touched surfaces using a federally approved, hospital-grade disinfectant, Erb said. They’re also re-educating all clinical and nonclinical staff on the proper use of personal protective equipment, such as gloves and goggles, and practicing social distancing among staff and residents as much as possible.

They’re also making sure employees don’t work while ill and developing policies to account for potential absenteeism during community-wide outbreaks.

“We continue to work with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, the Maine CDC and other state and national partners to monitor the virus and communicate updated information and ongoing resources to our members,” Erb said.

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