Test sweep at Maine youth detention center yields no cases

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Universal testing at a youth detention center has yielded no positive cases of coronavirus, the Maine Department of Connections said.

The state conducted campus-wide testing at Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland after a person who was being released from the facility in late June tested positive. Residents and staff at the facility were subjected to the testing.

The corrections department said Thursday that more than 180 tests came back negative, and the results for six staff members were still pending. The department said the center will “continue to focus on precautionary measures to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 in the facility.”

Maine has reported more than 3,300 cases of the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. The state has also been the site of 105 deaths, state officials have said.

In other news related to the coronavirus pandemic in Maine:

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OUT-OF-STATE CASES

Figures provided by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention show the number of nonresidents who have tested positive for the virus in Maine has grown in recent weeks, the Portland Press Herald reported.

The numbers show the pace of new cases nearly quadrupled in the last 11 days of June compared to the previous period, the newspaper reported Thursday. The figures came in the wake of growing anecdotal evidence of infections among nonresidents.

The cases have involved seasonal residents, visitors, tourists others, said Dora Anne Mills, chief health improvement officer for MaineHealth.

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FARMER AID

Maine’s Congressional delegation said Maine Farmers Exchange, a distribution company based in Presque Isle, has been awarded more than $2.1 million to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program.

The program is providing U.S. farmers with up to $3 billion in purchases of produce, dairy and meat and distributing the food to low-income residents. Members of the delegation said in a statement the effects of the pandemic on Maine farmers, families and food systems “have been serious and are certain to persist for months to come.”

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