Changes for visitors at the Medical Center support patient and community safety
Bangor, Maine (December 21, 2020) — Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center continually monitors the patient care environment and makes adjustments to ensure everyone’s safety. In response to the surge of COVID-19 throughout our community, shorter visiting hours, 2 - 4 pm daily, will begin on Tuesday, December 22.
The majority of adult patients will be permitted one visitor per patient per stay. The visitor will be identified upon admission and is encouraged to be the patient’s spouse or someone that lives with them, to limit exposure. This visitor will remain the same for the duration of the patient’s stay and will be allowed to visit one time per day during visiting hours.
There are unique circumstances where visitation may be adjusted, and nursing leaders will review these exceptions. Some circumstances with adjusted visitation include, for example, patients who lack capacity or those who are intubated. Two visitors will be permitted for end of life, pediatric/Neonatal ICU/Pediatric ICU, and trauma patients.
Circumstances where visitation will be completely restricted include rooms where patients are undergoing an aerosol generating procedure such as a nebulizer, high flow oxygen, etc., and those under investigation for COVID-19 exposure or those who have tested positive for the virus.
Visitors must be healthy; 18 years or older; limit movement in the facility; sign a Contact Tracing Log near the door each time they enter and exit the patient room; remain in the room with the patient they are visiting; and stay masked at all times, which means they may not eat or drink in the patient’s room.
“We recognize the importance of hearing from loved ones during the healing process, and we encourage family and friends to connect with patients by phone or video chat,” says Victoria Merry, MBA, system director, Patient Experience and Relations, Northern Light Health. “We know it can be difficult not seeing your loved ones during the holidays, but we do believe these additional measures will keep our patients, visitors, and staff safe, so we can continue to care for all patients in our community.”
Adult patients coming for outpatient tests or appointments are encouraged to come alone unless it is necessary for a support person to assist with communication, disruptive behavior, or mobility needs. Outpatient appointments for pediatric patients may have one support person accompany the patient.
Everyone entering a Northern Light Health facility will continue to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and exposure, have their temperature taken, and be asked to wear a medical-grade mask supplied by the organization. To expedite screening, staff, patients, and visitors are encouraged to use the Northern Light Health pre-screening tool on their way in the door by visiting northernlighthealth.org/covidcheck
and show the result to screeners upon entry.