Medical personnel discuss patients that had been admitted for testing for the coronavirus at the entrance Central Maine Medical Center on Friday, March 13, 2020, in Lewiston, Maine. U.S. hospitals are setting up circus-like triage tents, calling doctors out of retirement, guarding their supplies of face masks and making plans to cancel elective surgery as they brace for an expected onslaught of coronavirus patients. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

YORK, Maine — A small outbreak among the medical-surgical team at York Hospital has grown to nearly 50 caregivers and patients since last week.

Thirty-five caregivers in the hospital’s inpatient adult health care team have tested positive, along with 14 patients, York Hospital spokesperson Jean Kolak said Tuesday.

All five beds in the hospital’s ICU unit are currently in use, Kolak said.

Positive cases at the hospital have steadily increased since an initial outbreak was reported last week. York Hospital staff reported nine new positive cases Tuesday, following six new positive cases on Monday and four on Sunday.

In response to the outbreak, the hospital closed its dining room area Tuesday, and is postponing elective surgeries that require overnight care. 

The hospital requires that workers wear masks and eye protection during shifts. Daily screenings and temperature checks are being conducted on all employees and patients. The hospital said last week that potentially exposed caregivers and patients will be tested every five days until all have tested negative for 14 days.

An initial outbreak of four positive cases at the hospital was reported on Dec. 6.

York County has seen one of the highest concentrations of coronavirus cases in the state lately — 118 of Maine’s 417 new positive cases on Tuesday were in York County, following recent weeks of “forceful and widespread” community transmission throughout Maine. 

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