Contact: Caroline Cornish
PORTLAND, Maine – Beginning May 1, 2023, care team members, patients, visitors and others entering MaineHealth facilities will no longer be required to mask in the health care system’s hospitals or clinics.
MaineHealth stressed several key points:
- Anyone may choose to mask at their discretion.
- Masks will be available for those who choose to mask.
- Patients should ask their care team members to mask for face-to-face encounters if they wish them to do so.
- Masks will still be required in areas and circumstances where appropriate; standard and transmission-based precautions must be followed, including interactions with COVID-positive patients.
“Masking has been invaluable in preventing transmission of various illnesses, and we encourage everyone who is experiencing respiratory symptoms to stay home or, at the very least, mask. We will have masks available for all who wish to use them,” said Dr. Dora Anne Mills, MaineHealth Chief Health Improvement Officer. “We believe that this change will be very beneficial to communications between our care team members and our patients, and will overall help with our provision of care at all levels.”
MaineHealth is making these changes in light of evolving epidemiologic trends, the published scientific evidence and what we have learned from the experience of other hospitals nationally. As with all changes, we will monitor impact and respond appropriately in order to keep our patients, care team members and communities safe.
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit integrated health system whose vision is “Working together so our communities are the healthiest in America.” It consists of nine local health systems, a comprehensive behavioral healthcare network, diagnostic services, home health agencies, and 1,700 employed providers working together through the MaineHealth Medical Group. With approximately 22,000 employees, MaineHealth provides preventive care, diagnosis and treatment to 1.1 million residents in Maine and New Hampshire. It includes Franklin Memorial Hospital/Franklin Community Health Network in Farmington, LincolnHealth in Damariscotta and Boothbay Harbor, Maine Behavioral Healthcare in South Portland, MaineHealth Care at Home in Saco, Maine Medical Center in Portland, Memorial Hospital in North Conway, N.H., Mid Coast-Parkview Health in Brunswick, NorDx in Scarborough, Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital in Rockport and Belfast, Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and Sanford, Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook and Stephens Memorial Hospital/Western Maine Health Care in Norway. MaineHealth Affiliates include Maine General Health in Augusta and Waterville, New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland and St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. It is also a significant stakeholder in the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization in Portland.