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Three Maine healthcare systems plead for public to help stop COVID-19 spread

"During this pandemic, we have all had your backs, and now we need you to have ours." The systems are trying to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.

BANGOR, Maine — Three Maine healthcare systems held a press conference together Wednesday, pleading for the public to step up as cases of COVID-19 rise.

"When is it we're going to see trouble because of the number of patients that we're seeing? I would say we are already there," Northern Light Health Senior Physician Executive, Dr. James Jarvis, said.

Northern Light Health, MaineGeneral Health, and Central Maine Health Care fear hospitals could become overwhelmed. It's why the doctors are asking people to be more vigilant by wearing masks, washing hands, and staying home if sick.

"There are some dire predictions that by Christmastime, we will be overwhelmed in our hospitals. We won't want to see that happen," Dr. Jarvisc said.

Some hospitals are beginning to implement surge plans. Others like MaineGeneral Health said staffing is tight.

"We are happy to meet this head-on and do all we can and continue to build resiliency. We hope that will last for a long time but given the fact, our numbers are increasing and we are so tight on staffing, we need people to do their part; the community at large continuing to make good decisions about how they protect themselves and families," MaineGeneral Health's Chief Medical Officer Steve Diaz said.

They hope by doing this, it will keep Mainers safe.