To Our Valued Patients/Guests and Employees:
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.