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  Mid Coast Hospital News

COVID-19 Update: Ways to Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19

As Mid Coast Hospital continues to care for a significant number of patients ill with COVID-19, we would like to provide a few important updates to our community and share ways you can help slow the spread of the virus.

The current surge of COVID-19 has caused challenges for healthcare systems around the world. Maine is seeing record-breaking numbers of patients hospitalized for COVID-19. We do not expect this situation to improve in the coming months. Locally, Mid Coast Hospital has cared for a significant number of patients with COVID-19 over the past two weeks, including some of the youngest patients we have seen since the start of the pandemic. Additionally, Mid Coast Hospital has been operating at full capacity for over one month, with some patients boarding in the Emergency Department overnight as we work to open beds on our inpatient units.

Protecting patients and care team members remains our top priority. In support of this goal, our facilities have adopted several policies to ensure the highest level of safety. As of December 27, Mid Coast Hospital updated its visitation safety measures to help ensure the safety of all individuals at our facilities. This included pausing limited visitor hours for inpatients and Emergency Department patients, with specific exceptions permitted for pediatric, obstetric, palliative care, comfort measure, and end-of-life patients. While we recognize the importance of visitors to the wellbeing of patients, these updated safety measures are an important step we are taking to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We also ask for your support and understanding as we shift our care team members to where they are needed most. In early January, we began postponing some non-emergent surgical procedures to support temporary staff reassignments from select departments including our Surgical Suites. Our providers and care team members are busier than ever, but thanks to our thoughtfully considered surge plans and our team of flexible, committed professionals, Mid Coast Hospital maintains around-the-clock readiness to care for those in need.

We recognize that these temporary changes may result in longer wait times for scheduling appointments, getting lab tests, scheduling preventive screenings, and moving forward with non-emergent surgeries. Mid Coast Hospital also knows that longer wait times, postponements, and cancelations are frustrating. However, we request your patience with our care team members. They are working extraordinarily hard every single day in the face of significant capacity and staffing challenges, and we are grateful for your kindness and understanding.

Taking the appropriate safety precautions is key to preventing COVID-19 illness and hospitalization. One of the most important things you can do at this time is wear a mask when you are indoors in public spaces. Masking has been shown to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially the highly contagious Omicron variant. Mid Coast Hospital is supportive of communities that have decided to require masking in indoor public spaces, and we are grateful that masking is now required in both Brunswick and Bath. In addition to masking, we cannot stress enough the importance of following all of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s recommended safety protocols, including maintaining physical distance from those outside your household, frequently washing your hands, avoiding large gatherings, and ensuring spaces that you are in are adequately ventilated.

It is also important to protect yourself and your loved ones against COVID-19 by getting vaccinations and boosters as soon as you are eligible. Mid Coast Hospital continues to offer first dose, pediatric, and booster vaccinations at the Mid Coast Hospital COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic, located at 81 Medical Center Drive, Brunswick. Currently, all individuals ages 5 and older are eligible for first-dose vaccines; all individuals 12 and older are eligible for boosters. Vaccinations at Mid Coast Hospital are available by appointment, with walk-in availability on Wednesday mornings from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. for individuals ages 18 and older. There are three convenient ways for you to get vaccinated at Mid Coast Hospital:

  • Sign up for an appointment online at: https://vaccine.mainehealth.org, which also includes vaccination appointments at other MaineHealth locations that may be more convenient for you
  • Call (877) 780-7545 to make an appointment
  • Come to 81 Medical Center Drive in Brunswick for Walk-In Wednesdays from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., available to individuals 18 and older

Given the highly contagious nature of the Omicron variant as well as the presence of other season illnesses (such as influenza and colds), it is important to get tested early if you are experiencing any potential symptoms of COVID-19.

Testing at Mid Coast Hospital remains by appointment only and only for individuals with a provider’s order. If you need to have a COVID-19 test administered and are not able to use an at-home test, the State of Maine maintains a list of COVID-19 Testing Centers around the state. To see a list of testing centers near you, please visit: https://www.maine.gov/covid19/testing

At-home tests are generally reliable if you test positive and have symptoms. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 using an at-home kit and you are experiencing mild symptoms or are asymptomatic, we ask that you please stay home in isolation for five days, rest, and take good care of yourself. In order to allow us to care for people who are very sick, we ask that you please do not request additional confirmatory testing from the Mid Coast Hospital COVID-19 Information Line, your Mid Coast Medical Group provider, the Mid Coast Hospital Walk-In Clinic, or the Mid Coast Hospital Emergency Department. If you are experiencing concerning symptoms such as worsening illness or difficulty breathing, please call 9-1-1 or come directly to the Mid Coast Hospital Emergency Department at 123 Medical Center Drive in Brunswick for assessment and treatment.

Most individuals with COVID-19 have mild illness and are able to recover safely at home. To help care for yourself or a loved one, please review the US CDC’s guidance on how to treat mild COVID-19 illness at home: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

Thank you for your understanding while we continue to navigate this pandemic. Mid Coast–Parkview Health is grateful for all the support of our community, from gracious donations of food to bolster the morale of our care team members to following the latest safety guidelines to showing compassion and kindness during challenging times. We are confident we will overcome these challenges together, and we appreciate the important role each individual and organization plays in helping to keep our community healthy. Thank you, and please stay well.







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