UPDATE: At noon Tuesday, March 17, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s daily update showed the Lincoln County man’s test results changed from presumptive positive to confirmed, making two confirmed cases for the county.
Original post: An intensive care unit nurse at LincolnHealth’s Miles Campus hospital in Damariscotta has tested presumptive positive for the coronavirus, is self-quarantining at home and has no symptoms of the virus, said Dr. Russ Mack, a senior consultant at LincolnHealth.
“It’s almost certain (the nurse) was exposed while not at work. He had worked for two days and then found out that he had been exposed to people that were positive, elsewhere,” Mack said in a phone interview Tuesday morning. “So we tested him, he was positive, and so he’s been self-quarantining ... He’s an ICU nurse so luckily he was only working one on one with one patient, and of course we’re checking that patient, as well.”
Results of the patient’s test were not back yet, Mack said.
Co-workers of the nurse are taking their own temperatures twice daily and will report any symptoms, Mack said. “And so far everybody’s fine.”
Asked about the mood at the hospital given the global outbreak and now having a staff member presumptive positive, Mack said: “Obviously we’re taking this all very seriously. The leadership team is meeting daily and there are working groups split off from that that meet several times a week ... keeping a close eye on things” like supplies, staffing, and in-patient and out-patient policies, he said.
As with the rest of MaineHealth, the campus has stopped elective surgery, he said. “And we’re also looking at our daily outpatient visits to make sure that routine or screening ones are going to be postponed and just do people that really need to be seen.”
The LincolnHealth nurse’s case was Lincoln County’s second presumptive positive result for the virus. A presumptive positive one on a woman in her 30s was changed to “confirmed” in a Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention update at noon Monday.
Mack, chief medical officer until December 2019, became semi-retired and a senior consultant. “And I’m only supposed to be working half-time, but of course right now, it’s a little more than that.”
Interviewed separately Tuesday, LincolnHealth spokesman John Martins said Mack’s experience and the expertise of all LincolnHealth’s medical leadership “has been invaluable during this time.
“There’s a lot of guidance coming out from U.S. CDC and Maine CDC, and a lot of decisions to be made,” Martins said. “Our leadership team is just a very talented group of individuals.”