Maine Medical Center puts new visitation restrictions in place in response to COVID-19 outbreak.

March 14, 2020

Contact: Caroline Cornish
207 662-5146 / ccornish@mmc.org

Portland, Maine – In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Maine Medical Center and Maine Medical Partners are immediately implementing temporary restrictions with regard to their policies for visitors.

This is being done, in part, to prevent or limit community spread of the virus. Infectious disease experts say that measures to contain the virus are most effective early in its spread. Also, 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 Maine Medical Center facilities, it is important to take all necessary steps to protect them.

“Family and friends have an important role to play in the healing process,” said Maine Medical Center President Jeff Sanders. “But that needs to be balanced against the need to keep our patients, care team members and communities safe during this outbreak.”

The new guidelines for visitors are as follows and can also be found at MMC.org:

  • Visitation hours at MMC are now limited to 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.
  • Patients and visitors must enter Maine Medical Center’s main campus at 22 Bramhall Street in Portland through the main entrance or the P8 connector to the visitor garage only. Only patients requiring emergency care should use the emergency department entrance.
  • There will be a limit of one visitor per patient for both hospital and ambulatory care. (This includes all visits to hospital, medical practice, clinic, urgent care and emergency department locations.)
  • Because children can carry COVID-19 without showing symptoms, no visitor under the age of 18 will be permitted.
  • Limited exceptions to these policies can be made, such as for pediatric patients or comfort care (palliative).
  • Family meetings may include one family member in-person, with others participating by speaker phone.

All visitors will be screened upon entering a Maine Medical Center facility. This means a care team member will be at each entrance to ask 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 the COVID-19 or any other respiratory illness within the past 14 days. Sick individuals may be asked to leave or be re-directed to an appropriate point of care.

Besides limiting visitors, all Maine Medical Center facilities are suspending use of conference and community spaces by the public as well as volunteer services.

“As with other changes we are seeing in public accommodations across our community, Maine Medical Center recognizes that these new policies have an impact on the everyday lives of our patients, their families and the larger community,” said Sanders. “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.”

Learn more about how MaineHealth is responding to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Get the latest information on the spread of the virus from the federal CDC. 

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About MaineHealth
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit integrated health system consisting of nine local hospital systems, a comprehensive behavioral healthcare network, diagnostic services, home health agencies, and more than 1,700 employed and independent physicians working together through an Accountable Care Organization. With close to 22,000 employees, MaineHealth is the largest health system in northern New England and provides preventive care, diagnosis and treatment to 1.1 million residents in Maine and New Hampshire. It includes Franklin Memorial Hospital/Franklin Community Health Network in Farmington, LincolnHealth in Damariscotta and Boothbay Harbor, Maine Behavioral Healthcare in South Portland, MaineHealth Care at Home in Saco, Maine Medical Center in Portland, Memorial Hospital in North Conway, N.H., Mid Coast-Parkview Health in Brunswick, NorDx in Scarborough, Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County Hospital in Rockport and Belfast, Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and Sanford, Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook and Stephens Memorial Hospital/Western Maine Health Care in Norway. MaineHealth Affiliates include Maine General Health in Augusta and Waterville, New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland and St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. It is also a significant stakeholder in the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization in Portland.