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Northern Light Health officials say even with vaccines, masks won’t go away

exterior of Northern Light Health Eastern Maine Medical Center
exterior of Northern Light Health Eastern Maine Medical Center(wabi)
Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 5:50 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) -A top health official with Northern Light Health says Mainers should expect to wear masks for months to come to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. James Jarvis also shared an update on the state of the healthcare system during a virtual news conference Wednesday.

The highest number of COVID-19 positive in-patients are at EMMC in Bangor with 21 cases there.

Other Northern Light facilities have 4 or fewer cases.

Jarvis say health officials remain optimistic about the potential for upcoming coronavirus vaccines but caution that those who receive one will not be exempt from wearing masks.

“I do not expect that in the rest of 2020 or all of 2021 we will be going without masks regardless of what the vaccine supply is. That’s because of the nature of viruses. Viruses continue to linger. No vaccine gives you 100% protection and frankly we know that not 100% of people are going to get vaccinated and therefore there is still going to be community spread. There is still going to be that risk and so we’re going to recommend that you continue to wear masks for a prolonged period of time.”

He says that testing capacity remains strong for symptomatic patients but acknowledged that there can be delays for tests that are for non-clinical reasons.

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