As Coronavirus (COVID-19) becomes more of a concern in
our State, Calais Community Hospital will institute visitor restrictions and illness
screenings for those entering the facility as of March 18. An alternate entrance for suspect Coronavirus
patients has also been established. These
proactive precautions are to protect our patients, staff and the communities we
Temporary changes to our
Visitors Policy are being implemented.
Visitors must be 12 years or older
Visitors must be free of flu like symptoms
No more than two visitors per patient.
Patients and visitors
will be screened for symptoms of the flu and COVID-19. You will not be permitted to enter if you
exhibit signs or symptoms of an influenza-like illness. These include:
Shortness of breath
There will be
designated staff at entrances to guide this process. Allow extra time if
you are receiving outpatient services or visiting a patient. Patients entering through the ED entrance will
process through the normal triage process.
CRMS patients are being screened prior to appointments in the offices
and upon arrival. We understand these
screenings may be an inconvenience, but it’s an important step to keep everyone
safe and healthy.
Last week the hospital
established an alternate entrance for suspect Coronavirus patients to receive
needed treatment or testing. The
entrance is located near the Ambulance Bay of the Emergency Department. CCH has NOT had a positive test; however
preparations such as this continue to move forward as the COVID-19 situation progresses. The separate entrance allows quick access to
care with the least exposure to the community and staff. The process for patients who suspect they
have COVID-19 is to call their primary care provider or the ED at 454-9213 for
assessment and receive further instructions.
If you are having a medical emergency and call 911, please be sure to
tell dispatch there is a COVID-19 concern so emergency services personnel use
the appropriate precautions.
These measures are
part of taking every safeguard for maintaining the health of patients, staff,
visitors and our community. We ask for
the public’s patience and support of these temporary measures. Up to date information and guidance on
COVID-19 is available on the CDC website:
I am writing on behalf of the Calais Community Hospital (CCH) to assure you that the health and safety of our patients, guests, employees and community remains CCH’s top priority. As the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is having a greater impact in the United States, our thoughts are with all people who have been affected by the virus. Because this is a rapidly evolving situation, we feel it is important to reach out to you about the steps we are taking across our Hospital to help keep our patients, guests, employees, and our communities safe and healthy.
As part of our high commitment to patient and employee safety, we established a COVID-19 committee in late January that meets weekly. Daily briefings will also be held with management and key staff as this issue is ramping up and quickly changing. Furthermore, we are carefully monitoring the COVID-19 situation with weekly and sometimes daily updates and guidance from the Federal and State Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), as well as additional government agencies and health care providers. We are also working closely with our partners throughout the medical industry such as the AHA, NRHA, Maine Hospital Association, etc.
Our excellent Environment of Care (EOC) staff rigorously clean all of our medical rooms, meeting rooms and all public spaces several times throughout the day. Furthermore, we follow exhaustive cleaning, sanitation, and disinfection protocols that meet or exceed medical industry guidelines. These protocols, which assist with illness prevention, include: • Regular sanitation training and reinforcement for our EOC staff; • Clearly established cleaning and disinfection cycles for all medical service areas; • Prominent placement of hand sanitizers and masks; • Fast response to on demand cleaning issues; and • Frequent cleaning and wash down of nonmedical or public areas and high touch locations, such as railings, hallways, lobby, cafeteria, etc.
Therefore, given the current concerns related to COVID-19, we are increasing our cleaning, sanitation, and disinfection frequency above our already high standards. We are reinforcing with our employees the recommended personal hygiene and precautionary steps from the CDC to prevent the spread of germs, these guidelines include: • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. • Cover a cough or sneeze – preferably with a disposable tissue. • Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose, and mouth. • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects. • Stay home if you have flu-like symptoms.
Moreover, we are taking the necessary steps to be prepared should this issue become a more significant concern for our service area. CCH will continue to implement preventive measures in line with the recommendations from the CDC and other health agencies as they come along. As the situation progresses, the hospital may need to limit patient visitors and/or document visitors in the event of a patient who is positive for COVID-19. Staff are following the recommended guidance of the CDC to assess and recommend treatment, while also working to limit exposure to the community at large. (see diagram below of protocols used to determine recommended treatment path).
Based on the guidance we’ve received and our general state of preparedness, we are confident our medical operations will continue to be safe and ready to serve our patients. We will continue our collaboration with health and government officials, so we are prepared to take whatever steps may be necessary to ensure the safety of our patients and staff members.
In closing, we greatly value each patient that comes to us for their medical care, and we look forward to serving you upon your next medical need.