In this Wednesday, March 11, 2020 file photo, a technician prepares COVID-19 coronavirus patient samples for testing at a laboratory in New York's Long Island. Credit: John Minchillo | AP

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BELFAST, Maine — A nurse at Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to a hospital official.

All patients who came in contact with the nurse have been notified, according to a press release issued on Tuesday afternoon from hospital executives. The hospital is following guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control with regard to tracing the woman’s contacts within the hospital.

“We continue to take a high level of precaution,” said Dr. Mark Fourre, president of Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital. “Our top priorities will continue to be the well-being of every care team member and the health of our communities.”

Most cases of the disease bring mild-to-moderate flu-like symptoms that can be treated at home, according to the hospital. However, in a percentage of cases — mostly involving older people or those with underlying health conditions — the disease can be serious. Patients who are concerned they may have contracted the disease are urged to call ahead before going to a doctor’s office, clinic or emergency department.