Farmington, Maine – Franklin Memorial Hospital announced that it is implementing temporary visitor restrictions effective March 17. This is being done, in part, to prevent or limit community spread of the novel coronavirus (also known as COVID-19). Infectious disease experts say that measures to contain the virus are most effective early in its spread. Though 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 Franklin Memorial Hospital, it is important to take all necessary steps to protect them.
Effective Tuesday, March 17th, the new guidelines for visitors are as follows:
Visiting hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Limit of one visitor per patient for both inpatient and outpatient care
This includes all hospital, ambulatory, clinic appointments, and emergency department visits.
No visitor under the age of 18 is permitted because children can carry COVID-19 without showing symptoms.
Care teams will make exceptions for end of life care and will allow two parents or guardians for a pediatric patient.
The main entrance will serve as the single point of entry at the hospital.
All visitors will be screened upon entering one of our facilities. A care team member will be at each entrance to ask visitors a series of screening questions—including whether they have a fever, a new cough in the last 14 days, shortness of breath, a sore throat or a runny nose. Individuals will also be asked if they have been in close proximity with someone who is currently sick with COVID-19 or any other respiratory illness within the past 14 days. Sick individuals may be asked to leave or re-directed to an appropriate point of care.
“We recognize that these new policies have an impact on the everyday lives of our patients, their families, our staff and the larger community,” said FMH President Trampas Hutches. “Our priority now is slowing the spread of this virus and doing everything to care for those most affected by it as safely as possible.”
COVID-19 is a new disease that causes flu-like symptoms. Most cases are mild to moderate. Older adults and people with pre-existing medical conditions, may experience more severe respiratory illness. Symptoms may include: fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath.
Anyone who has these symptoms, has come in contact with someone with COVID-19 or has traveled to a place where the disease has been widespread should stay at home and call their primary care provider for further guidance.