The Bremen, Damariscotta, Nobleboro, and Waldoboro town offices have closed after a shared employee tested positive for COVID-19, according to officials from the four towns.
“Hopefully we’ll be back open by Monday, (March 22),” Damariscotta Town Manager Matt Lutkus said by phone on Tuesday, March 16.
Code Enforcement Officer Stan Waltz works for all four towns and confirmed by email that he had tested positive. He said he did not have any symptoms.
Waldoboro Town Manager Julie Keizer said on Tuesday that Waltz was last in the Waldoboro town office on Friday, March 12, and she hopes the office will reopen by Thursday, March 18.
A Waldoboro Budget Committee meeting scheduled for 5 p.m., Tuesday, March 16 has been canceled, Keizer said.
She said that anyone who was in the town office and could have been exposed has been contacted.
“Just because you were in the office does not mean you are exposed,” Keizer said.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines “close contact” with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 as being within 6 feet of that person for 15 total minutes or more within a 24-hour period.
Nobleboro Town Clerk Susan Pinnetti-Isabel said the last possible exposure at the Nobleboro town office was Monday, March 15, when Waltz was in the office for about 10-15 minutes.
However, she said the Maine CDC is less concerned about the Monday visit than about Waltz having been in the office for a longer period of time on Thursday, March 11.
The Nobleboro office is expected to reopen Thursday, March 18.
Pinnetti-Isabel said by email that residents can still request absentee ballots for annual town meeting by leaving a voicemail at the town office. Residents can then come into the office between noon and 5:30 p.m. Thursday to pick up a ballot or cast an absentee ballot in person.
“All absentee ballots need to be returned to town office before the closing of polls” at 6 p.m., Friday, March 19, Pinnetti-Isabel said.
Pinnetti-Isabel said town staff will receive COVID-19 tests and the office will be cleaned and sanitized.
“We’re following the guidelines and just doing everything to keep our people safe,” Pinnetti-Isabel said.
The town of Bremen issued an email notice Tuesday, March 16 stating that the town office would be closed Wednesday, March 17 due to potential COVID-19 exposure.
Lutkus said that the Damariscotta town office would be deep-cleaned and sanitized and all staff will have to receive negative COVID-19 tests before the building can reopen.
Lutkus said Waltz was last in Damariscotta’s building Monday, March 15.
Lutkus said the police station, in the same building as the town office, will remain open. No one with the police department was exposed.
Public hearings on the amended historic preservation ordinance, a related charter amendment, and a new solar energy systems ordinance were still scheduled to take place via Zoom at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 17, followed by the regular board of selectmen’s meeting, Lutkus said.