Maine CDC investigating virus outbreak at ambulance service

The state Center for Disease Control and Prevention is urging anyone who had close contact with members of Houlton Ambulance Service to get tested


By Laura French

AUGUSTA, Maine — A COVID-19 outbreak at a Maine ambulance service has led the state Center for Disease Control and Prevention to launch an investigation and contact tracing effort. 

The Maine CDC is urging anyone who had close contact with any member of Houlton Ambulance Service since June 8 to get tested for the virus after four members tested positive, according to a statement issued Sunday. 

The four members who tested positive were part of two crews that transported an asymptomatic patient for non-COVID-19-related reasons on June 13 and June 14. The patient was tested as part of a protocol for patients undergoing surgery and tested positive. Two additional individuals who had close contact with the ambulance crewmembers or the patient have also tested positive for the disease. 

The state CDC is investigating the source of the outbreak and says those who had close contact with Houlton Ambulance Service members should call Houlton Regional Hospital to schedule a free drive-through test. Close contact was defined as being within 6 feet of someone for at least 15 minutes. 

The ambulance service is working closely with Maine CDC and Maine EMS in the investigation and has made coverage arrangements while its staff members are in isolation, according to the statement. 

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