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More than 900 of Mayo Clinic’s staff sickened with COVID-19

General views of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine building in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Coronavirus cases continue to surge around the country, and it’s taking a toll on one of America’s most well-respected medical centers.

The Mayo Clinic reported that 905 Midwest staffers were diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last two weeks, according to spokesperson Kelley Luckstein. The medical facility has 55,000 employees spread across hospitals and clinics in Wisconsin and Minnesota. 

Luckstein told FOX Television Stations Thursday that the clinic has an additional 1,500 employees with work restrictions due to COVID-19 exposure or diagnosis. 

Luckstein said more than 93% of the exposure cases came from community spread not within the workplace. Administrators said none of the cases came from patients, and patients aren’t getting the virus from staffers.

“We need everyone in the communities we serve to do their part to limit the spread of COVID-19,” Luckstein urged.

According to FOX 9, Minnesota hit a record of COVID deaths two days in a row this week. 72 deaths were reported on Thursday. 67 deaths were reported on Wednesday. The state health department reported more than 7,800 new cases on Thursday, the second-highest so far. On Saturday, the department reported more than 8,700 new cases. The state’s positivity rate is 13.9%.

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Meanwhile, Wisconsin health leaders reported 83 coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, the second-highest, single-day record, according to FOX6 News Milwaukee.

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“All of our hospitals are really stretched. Many are absolutely full,” Dr. Amy Williams said in a virtual news conference Tuesday. “We’re most concerned about not being able to care for patients because of a decrease in our staff due to COVID-19 reasons.”

Williams urged Americans to continue to wear a mask, stay socially distant, and use “robust hand hygiene.”

In a telebriefing held Thursday, the CDC warned against traveling to visit relatives and friends this Thanksgiving and holiday season and urged those with possible coronavirus symptoms or other illnesses to stay home, according to FOX Business.

On Wednesday, the CDC posted an “URGENT ALERT” tweet calling on people to wear a mask and follow other safety precautions to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. It’s the toughest tone Americans have seen yet from the agency.

According to Johns Hopkins, the world had reported more than 56 million positive cases and 1.3 million deaths as of Nov. 19. In the United States alone, more than 11 million people had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and more than 250,000 people had died. 

This story was filed from Los Angeles.