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New Visitor Rules at Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital

December 02, 2020

Media Contact:
Jenifer Harris, Communications & Public Affairs Director
Phone: 207-505-4192
Email: jharris@mainehealth.org

ROCKPORT, Maine — In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Pen Bay Medical Center (PBMC) and Waldo County General Hospital (WCGH) are implementing increased restrictions with regard to its policies for visitors/patient escorts.

This is being done to prevent spread of the virus. Infectious disease experts agree that measures to contain the virus are most effective early in its spread. Although the vast majority of people infected with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms and make a full recovery, COVID-19 can be very serious for vulnerable populations, especially older people with underlying health conditions. Given that these populations often are cared for at PBMC/WCGH facilities, it is important to take all necessary steps to protect them.

“This necessary decision will allow us to minimize the chances of a COVID-19 outbreak in our facilities, protecting staff and patients as we work to provide a safe place for our community to get the health care it needs,” said Mark Fourre, president of PBMC and WCGH.

“We know this is difficult for patients and their family and friends who often play such an important role in the healing process,” Fourre said. “However, restricting visitors at this time helps to keep our patients safe so they can return to their families and friends without complications from COVID-19. Thank you to everyone for understanding and for continuing to do your part during the pandemic by wearing a mask, staying 6-feet apart and washing your hands frequently.”

Effective 12/04/20, VISITORS/ESCORTS are not permitted on PBMC|WCGH campuses, except the following:

Hospital Inpatient Areas:

  • Pediatrics: Two parent/guardians at a time allowed to accompany patient
  • Obstetrics: One spouse/coach
  • All other inpatient areas including critical care: No visitors except as needed for care plan discussions at the time of admission or as arranged with the care team.
  • End of Life in any inpatient area: Up to four family members may visit patients likely to expire within 24 hours (all areas) – visit times to be managed by the care team. This permission is not to extend beyond one day.
  • Patients in isolation for COVID-19 infection or being evaluated for COVID-19 infection: No visitors except for end-of-life.

Patient Discharges: Patients will be brought to an appropriate entrance for pick up.

Outpatient Surgery and Procedural Areas: Adult patients should arrange for drop-off and pick-up unless they need special assistance. Exceptions can be made in advance for patients who do not live locally. Pediatric patients may be accompanied by two parents/guardians.

Emergency Department: Visitors are not allowed to wait in the ED. Exceptions will be made for care plan discussions as arranged with the care team or for end of life. Pediatric patients may be accompanied by two parents/guardians.

Ambulatory/Diagnostic Areas: Adult patients should come alone or arrange for drop-off and pick-up unless they need special assistance. Pediatric patients may be accompanied by two parents/guardians.

Patients Requiring Special Assistance: Patients in any care setting who need help, such as with mobility or communications with the care team about their medical history or care, may be assisted by an adult escort to provide the needed assistance or support, such necessity to be determined by the care team.

All visitors will be screened upon entering a PBMC/WCGH facility. A care team member will be at each entrance to ask a series of screening questions, including whether visitors have a fever, a new cough in the last 10 days, shortness of breath, a sore throat or a runny nose. If visitors answer yes to any of these questions, they will be asked to leave.

These restrictions are for the protection of patients, employees, visitors, and the public, and consistent with guidance from governmental authorities, and are adopted for the purpose of reducing the potential for propagation of the COVID-19 virus. These restrictions are imposed by order of the hospital President and Chief Medical Officer.

About Pen Bay Medical Center
Pen Bay Medical Center is part of MaineHealth, a not-for-profit integrated health system consisting of eight local hospital systems, a comprehensive behavioral healthcare network, diagnostic services, home health agencies, and more than 1,600 employed and independent physicians working together through an Accountable Care Organization. With more than 19,000 employees, MaineHealth is the largest health system in northern New England and provides preventive care, diagnosis and treatment to 1.1 million residents in Maine and New Hampshire. For more information, please visit pbmc.org.

Waldo County General Hospital
Waldo County General Hospital is part of MaineHealth, a not-for-profit integrated health system consisting of eight local hospital systems, a comprehensive behavioral healthcare network, diagnostic services, home health agencies, and more than 1,600 employed and independent physicians working together through an Accountable Care Organization. With more than 19,000 employees, MaineHealth is the largest health system in northern New England and provides preventive care, diagnosis and treatment to 1.1 million residents in Maine and New Hampshire. For more information, please visit wcgh.org.

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