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Workers At Brigham And Women's, Mass. Eye And Ear Test Positive For Coronavirus

Healthcare workers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Mass. Eye and Ear have tested positive for the coronavirus, the hospitals said Sunday.

One worker at each hospital tested positive, the hospitals said in separate statements. Both said they were notifying patients and staff who may have come in contact with the infected worker.

"As the novel coronavirus spreads across the globe, it is inevitable that health care workers will be infected, as is now the case at the Brigham," the hospital's statement read. "We are in the process of contacting patients and staff who may have been exposed."

The Brigham says it has been "preparing for this eventuality." Mass. Eye and Ear called it "inevitable."

As of Saturday, there are 138 known cases of coronavirus in Massachusetts, according to state health officials.

The news came as a shock to a nurse who works at Mass. Eye and Ear, which is footsteps from Mass General. The nurse, who requested anonymity to discuss internal matters, said that hospital staff have been taking extra precautions during shifts such as wearing protective masks and gowns more than usual, reducing the number of visitors, and being on the lookout for people with flu-like symptoms.

The fact that a Mass. Eye and Ear employee nevertheless contracted the virus is a bit scary, the nurse said. Still, the nurse felt safe going to work.

With reporting from WBUR's Adrian Ma. 

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Ally Jarmanning Twitter Digital Producer
Ally is a reporter who champions data and public records in the WBUR newsroom.

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