Coronavirus: More than 900 Mayo Clinic staff test positive for COVID-19 in past 2 weeks

ROCHESTER, Minn. — More than 900 staff members at the renowned Mayo Clinic’s Minnesota and Wisconsin locations have tested positive for the novel coronavirus within the past two weeks

In an email to NBC News, Mayo Clinic spokesperson Ginger Plumbo said the figure represents nearly one-third of the total 2,981 COVID-19 cases among its Midwest staff since the pandemic began.

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Plumbo also estimated that about 93% of the staff who have tested positive contracted the virus via “community spread” and that another roughly 600 staff members are hampered by “work restrictions related to COVID-19 exposures.”

Meanwhile, clinic officials in Rochester, Minnesota, confirmed during a Tuesday afternoon news briefing that all 32 of its dedicated COVID-19 medical intensive care beds are full, KTTC reported.

“Our hospital censuses continue to increase, and that’s a reflection of the spread in the community and the positivity here we’re seeing in the Midwest,” Mayo Clinic Practice Executive Director Dr. Amy Williams said during the briefing.

“The bottom line is, our hospitals are busy, our health care workers are very busy, and we know much more now than we did in the spring about how to care for COVID patients, but we’re still seeing a spread in our communities,” Williams said.

The staffing shortage caused by the recent COVID-19 outbreak among staff has forced the clinic to not only shuffle employees across state lines but call upon retired staff to re-enter service, NBC News reported.

“We are bringing retirees back from recent retirements, having research nurses move into patient care roles temporarily, bringing staff in from our other sites,” Plumbo said.

More coronavirus pandemic coverage:

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>> Coronavirus: CDC updates guidance for COVID-19 testing

>> Dangerous hand sanitizer list up to more than 150 products, FDA announces

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>> Fact check: Will masks lower the oxygen level, raise the carbon dioxide in your blood?

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