SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Baystate Medical Center is investigating a COVID-19 outbreak impacting staff and patients. The second-largest outbreak since the pandemic began.

On Tuesday, Baystate officials reported there are 16 employees and four patients tied to this coronavirus outbreak. This came as the city of Springfield saw the highest COVID-19 case numbers to date.

Back in July, Baystate reported a similar outbreak infecting 23 employees and 13 patients with the virus.

President and CEO of Baystate Dr. Mark Keroack said in a statement to Western Mass News:

"We are conducting contact tracing and testing for employees from the unit in question, and we also are reaching out to all patients who received care on the unit between November 6-16 to provide testing. The prevalence of the virus in our communities is high, and we continue to be on our guard to prevent transmission in our clinical environments and recognize the importance of continued vigilance and commitment to each other‘s health and safety.”

It's still unclear what unit in the hospital was impacted.

This outbreak came as the city is seeing a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, reporting 646 cases in one week. This sparked concern from officials in the city’s weekly coronavirus briefing Monday.

“We are a house on fire, and we are burning quickly, and we will be ashes soon unless we get relief,” Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris said. “That relief comes from our behavior from our ability to test trace and contact individuals.”

The city is rolling out a new initiative to help stop the spread, posting signs on buses and in neighborhoods to remind people to do their part to contain the virus.

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