A sign points the way to the emergency department at Maine Medical Center in Portland in this March 13, 2020, photo.

As of 11 a.m. Friday, March 20, 44 Maine residents have been confirmed positive and 12 others are presumed positive for the coronavirus, according to the state. Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support this mission by purchasing a digital subscription.

Maine Medical Center has announced new restrictions on visitors meant to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Caroline Cornish, a spokeswoman for the Portland hospital, said Friday that fewer people will be allowed to visit pediatric patients and others with special circumstances beginning Saturday in order to protect the health of patients and hospital employees.

The restrictions include limiting one person at a time for picking up discharged patients, visiting those in end-of-life care, in day surgery, obstetrics and pediatrics, according to Cornish. The changes apply to all hospital, outpatient clinic, medical practice, urgent care and emergency department locations with the medical center and at Maine Medical Partners.

“We recognize that family support is important to our patients, particularly the very young and those facing end-of-life decisions,” Jeff Sanders, president of Maine Medical Center, said in a statement. “While this was a difficult decision, we feel it is the best way to protect the health of our patients and of our care team members.”

So far, 56 confirmed and likely cases of the coronavirus, known as COVID-19, have been detected in at least seven counties across the state, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The bulk of the cases have been reported in Cumberland County, where the hospital is located.