MaineGeneral Health saw its first COVID-19 related death Monday at Alfond Center for Health in Augusta, and one person with the disease remains at the hospital, officials announced Tuesday.

All together, the hospital has had a total of three patients with COVID-19, with one remaining at the hospital and another having been transferred to a higher level of care, according to Steve Diaz, chief of staff for MaineGeneral.

Meanwhile, Diaz and Chuck Hays, MaineGeneral’s chief executive officer, said Tuesday in a Skype interview with the Morning Sentinel that of 4,500 employees in the MaineGeneral system, about 140 are expected to be working from home once software is in place to enable that. Most of that number likely will be from among about 400 people who work at MaineGeneral’s offices at the Hathaway Creative Center in Waterville.

Employees at the Hathaway location include those in human resources and finances.

“There are people in the area that are critical to our function,” Hays said.

MaineGeneral has a detailed plan to address COVID-19 as it spreads throughout the U.S. and into Maine. The plan, which consists of hundreds of pages, includes reorganization of services, emergency department screening, cancellation of elective or non-urgent surgeries, implementation of tele-business for non-urgent issues, reduction of visits and developing inventory of all its resources, according to Hays.

Also, the health system has developed lists of what it will need for supplies now and in the future, created a labor pool and list of labor needs, re-deployed some employees to the emergency department to help with screening and others to help screen employees who have been sick or traveled, and started the process of asking employees if they wanted to and could work from home to do so. More than 140 people applied, Hays said.

This story will be updated


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