The Portland Expo is sporting a giant "spread love not germs" banner encouraging people to wear their masks and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

BANGOR, Maine — Fifty patients and guardians and 20 employees at Penobscot Pediatrics in Bangor have potentially been exposed to the coronavirus after three staff members tested positive for COVID-19, officials said Friday. 

All those thought to have been exposed have been notified, officials at the health center, which is part of Penobscot Community Healthcare, said. The potential exposures took place within the last 10 days, and the agency is conducting contact tracing to find those who may have been affected. 

Employees have been required to wear surgical masks at the practice since the spring, and would have been wearing masks at the time of the potential exposures, according to Kate Carlisle, the director of mission engagement at Penobscot Community Health Care. As well, patients and other people who come into the practice also are given surgical masks to wear while they are there. 

The three employees who tested positive are recovering in isolation, and those who may have been exposed are encouraged to quarantine, officials said. They will be tested for the coronavirus at intervals related to the time of exposure and expected incubation periods. 

“It’s of huge concern to us every time there is potential exposure and we are taking every possible remedial step,” Lori Dwyer, the president and CEO of the organization said. 

Last week, in response to increased community transmission of the coronavirus in Penobscot County, the healthcare organization began requiring all its employees to wear both eye protection and surgical masks at all times while at work, she said. 

Patients or guardians who have questions or would like to reschedule appointments or discuss telehealth options should reach out to their provider. 

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