More than 150 employees of hospitals in the Boston area have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus, according to numbers released by four of the medical centers.
Both Brigham and Women's Hospital and Tufts Medical Center have more than 50 employees have COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, as of Friday.
These are the latest available numbers:
- Brigham and Women's Hospital: 58
- Tufts Medical Center: 52
- Massachusetts General Hospital: 41
- Boston Medical Center: 15
Other local hospitals haven't reported how many people on their staffs have tested positive.
One local doctor said that seeing so many health care employees with COVID-19 is "a yellow flag," not a red flag.
It serves as a warning, said Joshua Barocas, an infectious disease physician at Boston Medical Center who teaches at Boston University's School of Medicine, "that we do continue to practice what we preach, that we're all taking care to wash our hands, but also that we're taking care of ourselves."
The deadly virus has already prompted the area's medical centers to hunker down in anticipation of a massive surge of cases -- Massachusetts has reported more than 3,200 cases and the coronavirus can take days to present in infected people or worsen enough to send them to the hospital.
"Some of us will get sick," said Jarone Lee, a Massachusetts General Hospital doctor specializing in emergency medicine. "Probably not from here, but from community spread. We will have less and less workforce over time."
Nevertheless, MGH's staffing levels are doing well at the moment, Lee said. Doctors and nurses are watching each other as they take their protective equipment on and off to make sure it's done properly.