Starting Monday, May 11, Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital will begin to transition its medical screening site at 141 Leighton Street to a more permanent setting. Drive-up COVID testing by appointment only will now be available at Northern Light Primary Care, located at 470 Somerset Avenue in Pittsfield in the Northern Light Health Center.
“The tent site was very effective as we launched our initial response to COVID, but it was never meant to be a long-term solution,” said Paul Arsenault, vice president of primary care and specialty services at Sebasticook Valley Hospital. “Our testing will now be in a different location, but it’s the same simple process to get screened and tested. People will still need to call our Screening Hotline at 844-489-1822 to be screened and referred by appointment to the drive-up testing at our Pittsfield primary care office.”
Regular primary care will continue as normal at the location and the practice is taking all necessary steps to safely provide care for all our patients. A major safety measure is using the drive-up test process, where patients with COVID-19 test appointments stay in their car when they arrive at the location. They will be instructed to call the office to alert staff they are there, and then a dedicated healthcare provider will come out to the patient’s vehicle to swab them for the test.
Arsenault stressed, “It is very important for people to know that the removal of the temporary tent site should not be taken as an indication that COVID-19 is no longer present in our communities or contagious. It simply means that we have established a new location for testing. And if we have a surge in cases, we have a plan to manage greater volume with all the tools and safety processes we’ve gained since the pandemic started.”
According to Emily Cianchette, FNP, chief of medical staff at Sebasticook Valley Hospital and a provider with Northern Light Primary Care, “It’s vital that we all continue to slow the spread of COVID and every action you take helps. Wash hands frequently with warm soapy water for at least 40 seconds, cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow and tissues, call your provider and self-isolate when you’re sick, stay home when possible, and maintain a six-foot physical distance when around others. Also, wear a face covering in public and please know that it is mandatory to wear one at all health care facilities for the safety of patients and staff.”
Meanwhile, the hospital is cautiously working to gradually resume some in-person healthcare services, specifically those that are medically necessary and time sensitive that may have been delayed due to COVID.
Sebasticook Valley Hospital president, Terri Vieira expressed the organization’s gratitude to the community for its support during these unprecedented times. “It’s been amazing to see and feel the support from our patients, families, friends, and local businesses - we’re in this together.”
For more information about COVID, visit northernlighthealth.org/Sebasticook-Valley-Hospital. To be screened for COVID, call our Screening Hotline at 844-489-1822.