WESTBROOK — One Westbrook resident has died from COVID-19 and there are now 11 documented coronavirus cases among residents and city employees, Mayor Mike Foley said Wednesday.

Three city employees have confirmed cases of the coronavirus, he said.

“We have taken appropriate actions within each department to quarantine exposed employees and disinfect the facilities,” Foley said.

The name of the deceased resident and those of the people infected are not being disclosed due to HIPAA — Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act — regulations.

City Health Officer and Fire Chief Andrew Turcotte said the number of local  cases will grow, and that the reported total of 11 is lower than the actual number of cases.

“This is certainly not the total number of cases, however, as a number of patients have been seen at the hospital or by their (physician) and were sent home to quarantine and self-monitor for symptoms, but were not tested,” Turcotte said this week.


There are two reasons for the potential for more patients, Turcotte said.

The CDC has said the area has a “moderate level of community transmission,” and that transmission will mean more cases, he said.

Secondly, a shortage of tests for the virus nationwide has “inhibited testing capacity” so some cases have not been documented.

“The state is doing the best they can to meet the demands by sending to third party testing centers,” he said.

As of Wednesday, 192 of the 344 cases statewide were in Cumberland County. There have been seven deaths statewide.

Westbrook schools react


On Wednesday, Westbrook Superintendent Peter Lancia said schools this week will distribute iPads to students who do not have access to electronic devices for distance learning. The school closure has been extended until May 1 under a statewide order.

“I have a million thanks to everyone who is rising to the occasion. This is something that I have never imagined would happen. It’s a historic event we are navigating on a day to day basis,” Superintendent Peter Lancia said.

“Teachers have outdone themselves in terms of making distanced learning opportunities and reaching out to parents,” he said. “We are still working for the best education for all, just in a different way.”

The school department hasn’t make any decisions on future planned events, including the prom and high school graduation ceremony.

Also on Wednesday, Economic Development Director Dan Stevenson, Economic Development Director, announced the creation of an arts grant from the Warren Memorial Foundation.

The grant will give the city $50,000 to distribute to artists of all mediums whose livelihoods have been impacted by the virus. Grants of up to $1,500 will be awarded per artist.

The City Council will vote on the grant at its next virtual meeting and further details will be available after it is approved.

A Canal School student sends some greetings back to teachers as they parade by Friday in Westbrook. The parade of vehicles emblazoned with messages to the students was put together to help students feel better about being away from their classrooms due to the coronavirus shutdowns, Superintendent Peter Lancia said. Saccarappa and Congin teachers also have held parades. Courtesy photo

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