In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital are implementing increased restrictions with regard to its policies for visitors and 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 and 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.”

Visitors and escorts are not permitted on the PBMC and WCGH campuses, except for the following:

Hospital Inpatient Areas:

Pediatrics: Two parent/guardians at a time allowed in all areas.

Obstetrics: One spouse or 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 Emergency Department: 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/escorts are subject to screening for COVID-19. Visitors/escorts with any COVID-19 symptoms will NOT be allowed to enter Pen Bay Medical Center or Waldo County General Hospital facilities. Visitor/escorts must perform hand hygiene prior to entering and upon leaving the patient’s room/care area; wear a mask at all times in the facility; and not go to any locations in the facility other than the room of the patient they are visiting. Hospital cafeterias are closed to visitors.

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.