5 cases of COVID-19 detected on the small island of Maine


North Haven officials have confirmed five cases of COVID-19 in the offshore island community, which has a year-round population of just 357 people.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has not opened an investigation into the outbreak on the island, Robert Long, the department’s communications director, said on Friday as city officials urged residents “not to don’t panic “.

“At the same time, please take this seriously, as we have a number of particularly vulnerable people in our community,” said Rick Lattimer, city administrator, in a letter to community members posted on the website. the city. “Now is the time for increased caution.”

The island grabbed national headlines in March when city officials passed an unprecedented ban on visitors and seasonal residents in an effort to protect the community from the spread of the virus.

The short-lived ban lasted less than a week and was enacted when city officials learned that people who weren’t full-time residents were heading there to overcome the coronavirus outbreak.

If residents believe they have been exposed to the virus, Lattimer said they should self-isolate and call the island’s health clinic for advice. North Haven officials are working with Maine CDC contact tracers and asking residents to take health precautions, including washing their hands frequently and wearing masks in all public places, including around the ferry terminal and in the parking lot of the grocery store.

Islanders should monitor themselves and their family members for symptoms of the virus, including fever, loss of taste or smell and difficulty breathing.

The North Haven Community School, which has fewer than 70 students, made the switch to distance learning thanks to Thanksgiving. School administrators will assess when to resume in-person learning “as soon as circumstances permit,” Lattimer said.

Although the municipal office is closed to the public, Lattimer said people can still complete certain transactions using a drop box up front.

“Please be patient as we work together,” he said.

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