In this March 17, 2017, file photo, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center staff walk down a hallway in the hospital in Bangor. Credit: Ashley L. Conti / BDN

On a day when Maine has set another record for new daily cases of COVID-19, Dr. James Jarvis of Northern Light Health is urging people to take precautions to help get the virus under control.

“And doing the things that you’ve heard us talk about for 10 months now. That’s the best way until we can vaccinate the majority of the population,” he said, a process that will take a month.

Jarvis said the earliest estimate for when enough people are vaccinated to put a dent in the spread of the virus is June.

Three thousand Northern Light Health employees — across its network of hospitals — have been given their first doses. Jarvis said he expects that most frontline employees who come into contact with COVID-19 patients will have received the first shot by the end of the year.

“There will be some exceptions to that. We need to roll this out in a staggered fashion,” he said. “We’re reliant on the supply chain of how the vaccine comes to us.”

Jarvis also said that Northern Light is vaccinating no more than a quarter of each department on any given day to avoid staffing shortages in the event employees experience mild side effects and need to call out sick. He said the vaccine rollout has been more efficient than expected.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.

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