COVID-19 Update: A Message from Lois Skillings, President of Mid Coast–Parkview Health

As the COVID-19 coronavirus begins to spread more widely throughout the state of Maine and here in our community, I would like to update community members on the measures Mid Coast–Parkview Health is taking to care for our patients and protect those in our service area.

Coronavirus outbreaks in other areas have shown that we will see an increase in local cases in the coming days and weeks. While I understand this news is unnerving, I’d like to assure our community that Mid Coast Hospital is prepared to care for COVID-19 patients. Mid Coast Hospital is extremely fortunate to have outstanding providers with expertise in infectious disease and respiratory illness, and our nurses and clinical staff are ready to provide high-quality, specialized care to anyone in need.

In the meantime, it is crucial that everyone does their part to help prevent the spread of this illness. As with other contagious diseases, the spread of COVID-19 can be slowed. To help stop the spread of infection, the federal Centers for Disease Control recommends community members continue to practice good hand hygiene, stay home when you are sick, and cover coughs and sneezes.

We have also entered a new phase of social distancing, including staying at least six feet away from other people and avoiding gatherings of people. Here in our community, we are navigating new ways to interact remotely with school closings, event cancellations, and working from home. These strategies are being put in place to slow the transmission, or "flatten the curve.” This will help stop or slow down the spread of disease and allow the health care system to more readily care for patients over time. People are asking us what they can do to help. The most important thing you can do is to follow this guidance and help to prevent the virus from spreading.

At Mid Coast–Parkview Health facilities, we are putting temporary measures in place to best protect the most vulnerable in our community and direct important clinical resources to our COVID-19 response. This week, we suspended elective procedures as well as non-urgent office appointments at our practices. We are also restricting visitors throughout all facilities. These restrictions are for the protection of patients, employees, visitors, and the public, and they are consistent with guidance from government authorities.

As these policies and changes continue to roll out quickly, we will be keeping our website up to date with the most recent information concerning access and care locally. You can find the most recent information about Mid Coast–Parkview Health visitor restrictions, cancellations, relocations, and other resources at www.midcoasthealth.com/covid19.

While these times are unprecedented, it is important not to panic. If you are experiencing symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please call your primary care provider before coming to the practice, Walk-In Clinic, or Emergency Department. Calling first ensures that you will get the best care possible while keeping others safe. Our providers will use the most recent CDC screening guidelines to assess whether or not you should be tested for COVID-19. Patients with mild symptoms can safely be quarantined at home, therefore preserving testing, evaluation, and acute care for high-risk patients with severe symptoms.

Please feel comforted that at Mid Coast–Parkview Health, the COVID-19 virus has the full attention of our clinical and leadership teams, and we are working around the clock to monitor and manage the situation in order to keep our patients, staff, and community safe.

Thank you for your support as we face this challenge together as one community.

Sincerely,

Lois Skillings, RN
President, Mid Coast–Parkview Health