FALMOUTH — A respiratory care center for patients who may have COVID-19 has opened, following the news that a seventh resident at Oceanview at Falmouth has contracted the illness, according to town officials.

In related developments, the chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen, Amy Kuhn, said she’s concerned about reports that some residents are ignoring the call for social distancing and continue to visit places that are closed to the public.

The Maine Medical Partners Open Respiratory Assessment Center at 5 Bucknam Road was opened by Maine Medical Partners on March 29 to assess and treat people who may have the coronavirus. The center will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Walk-ins are not being accepted, as patients need a referral from their primary care physician, according to press release from the Falmouth Emergency Management Team.

Oceanview at Falmouth, a retirement and assisted living facility, also announced that as of March 27, a seventh case of the virus among residents was discovered. As of March 31 no new cases had been reported.

In the same press release, Oceanview spokesperson Linda Varrell announced that the CDC is no longer able to trace specific transmissions of the virus due to its prevalence and community transmission. As a result, Oceanview will no longer be reporting each individual case and will be providing midweek and end-of-week updates on the facility’s website at oceanviewrc.com.

“We continue to follow CDC guidance and urge individuals to take the proper precautions to minimize their risk of exposure. The importance of physical distancing, keeping 6 feet of distance between you and others, cannot be overstated,” Varrell said.

Blueberry Lane, the road leading into Oceanview, remains closed to everyone except essential personnel.

In addition, the following town-owned buildings will remain closed through at least April 27: Town Hall, Public Works, the wastewater treatment plant on Clearwater Drive, the Police Station on Marshall Drive, Falmouth Food Pantry, Falmouth Memorial Library, Mason-Motz Activity Center, Town Landing buildings, playgrounds, trails and schools. 

While virtually all public meetings have been canceled, the Town Council will hold its second digital meeting through Zoom on Monday, April 13. The agenda has not been set, but links to watch the meeting are on the town’s website at falmouthme.org, where the agenda will also be posted.

Cases of COVID-19 continue to mount, and were at 275 across the state as of Tuesday morning, according to the Portland Press Herald.

The Town Council continues to urge residents to practice social distancing.

According to Kuhn, there has been a number of residents have told council members about people ignoring the directive to avoid social interaction and accessing closed parks.

“(We have) reports of individuals accessing closed Town trails such as the Blackstrap Hill Preserve, failing to practice social distancing recommendations on golf courses and tennis courts, and allowing groups of kids to gather at the high school fields, which are currently closed,” Kuhn said in a letter to residents on the town’s website. “While we fully understand the desire to get outside and get active, it is critically important that we do so according to the CDC’s recommendations.

“The weather will be improving soon, and we hope that residents will continue to be able to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors in the midst of these unprecedented times. According to our police department, Falmouth residents have been complying with the current stay-at-home recommendations at a high rate, which still permits people to exercise outside if certain precautions are maintained.”

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