There are no longer any known active cases of COVID-19 at the Cumberland County Jail, despite the official declaration of an outbreak there this week.

Sheriff Kevin Joyce said Wednesday that all inmates who were in custody as of Monday have tested negative for the disease. That includes two inmates who initially tested positive but were retested and the results came back negative. All staff tests returned so far also have been negative.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is continuing to investigate the outbreak at the jail, a CDC spokesman said.

“The agency is offering technical assistance, such as guidance on infection control and widespread testing, to mitigate risk of potential exposure and virus transmission to others associated with the facility,” Robert Long said in an email.

The jail is waiting for tests results for inmates who came into the jail since Tuesday. Starting this week, the sheriff said all inmates will be tested upon arrival, a policy that has been in place in neighboring York County.

“We will be utilizing an Abbott test to screen inmates coming into the jail, effective Friday morning at the latest,” Joyce wrote in an email.


The state’s top epidemiologist said Tuesday that the Cumberland County Jail had a COVID-19 outbreak, which is defined by three positive tests. The first person to test positive there was an inmate arrested June 27. That person has since been released. The jail subsequently tested more than 300 inmates, although the process has taken more than two weeks. The two additional cases were identified as part of that universal test.

Long has said a retest with a negative result does not overturn an initial positive result. He also said the tests are highly accurate, and false results are considered unusual.

“It would be inappropriate to speculate on individual cases,” Long in an email. “But in general, retesting until individuals test negative is one way to determine recovery.”


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