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One of Maine’s largest hospitals is reinstating strict visitor restrictions after 10 staff members and two patients tested positive for the coronavirus.
Central Maine Medical Center is also suspending outside food, flowers and gifts for hospital patients. The hospital gift shop and fitness center will remain closed instead of reopening this week.
The infections stem from exposure to a patient from a long-term care facility who initially tested negative for coronavirus before being admitted to the hospital. The patient was later retested as positive.
“Exposures such as this underscore the reality that we are not out of the woods yet with this novel virus, which spreads quickly and in ways we still do not fully understand,” said John Alexander, chief medical officer for Central Maine Healthcare, the hospital’s parent company.
It was only the second outbreak at a hospital in Maine since the pandemic began, said Nirav Shah, the director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Central Maine Healthcare is working closely with the Maine CDC. Anyone who came into contact with the infected patient is being contacted. The staff members are all self-isolating at home.