BELFAST — An internal investigation at Waldo County General Hospital into the current outbreak among eight staff members revealed cases identified since July 26 did not share a common link. 

WCGH Communications Director Jenifer Harris said in an Aug. 11 press release, “In most, if not all, of the cases, a likely exposure outside of work has been identified.

“In other words, these cases primarily reflect transmission in the community rather than on our campus,” she said. “In addition, we have not identified any evidence of spread of COVID-19 from an employee to a patient.”

The hospital is continuing to follow state and federal guidelines pertaining to positive COVID-19 test results, including testing employees and patients. All other established safety measures — including universal masking, screening of those entering the hospital and increased hand hygiene — will also continue.

Officials at the hospital believe the current reported cases are an indication of community spread in Waldo County, which is considered a high transmission county, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

According to Harris, as of Aug. 4, 79.1% of hospital employees had received their vaccinations.  

“Although we have confirmed that several of our colleagues included in this investigation outbreak are fully vaccinated,” she said, “unvaccinated employees have been disproportionately affected. These infections are a reminder that COVID-19 remains a threat to our community. WCGH encourages everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated.”

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention opened an investigation into the outbreak earlier this week. A call to Maine CDC spokesman Robert Long for an update on the investigation was not returned immediately.