Hospital confident in face of local COVID surge

FORT KENT, Maine — Northern Maine Medical Center staff say the work they have undertaken over the last 18-plus months to ensure the highest possible levels of safety for the people of the St. John Valley during the coronavirus pandemic has prepared the hospital to face this newest local surge in COVID cases. 

“Our team stands ready — armed with proven effective policies, personal safety equipment, cleaning procedures, and dedication and commitment to the common goal of stopping the spread of COVID. We continue our commitment to transparency about our processes and policies as we continue this fight against COVID,” said Alain Bois, chief operating officer. 

At this time, the hospital has no internal outbreaks. 

“Although we have seen an increase in positive cases in recent weeks, some of which have required hospitalization, we are absolutely confident that the safety measures we have in place will prevent, and, indeed, have prevented any threat to our patients and staff. We are certain this is due to the high rate of vaccinations among our employees and our meticulous use of PPE and extra thorough cleaning practices,” said Bois.  

Anyone entering the hospital, including staff, is screened and must wear masks. As well, NMMC continues to practice social distancing in their common spaces, including in reception areas. 

The recent uptick of cases in the community has prompted the resumption of their COVID Task Force, which activates when needed and meets regularly to closely monitor and respond to the evolving local situation. In addition to developing and implementing safety protocols, this group also facilitates education of staff on the latest science related to COVID and communicates important information to staff and the public.  

“We simply cannot express enough how grateful we are for our hardworking, conscientious staff at Northern Maine Medical Center,” said NMMC CEO Peter Sirois, who credited staff as the crucial element of the hospital’s success when facing the added burden of COVID. 

“When people find their calling in the medical field, we already know several important things about them – they possess great reserves of compassion; they feel emotions deeper than many; they will push the limits of exhaustion if it means they can help others; they will tirelessly pursue education and training to gain more knowledge and skills throughout their entire careers; they are among the most selfless people one might ever meet,” said Sirois. 

“We know it may sound cliché to refer to our staff as heroes, but they are as natural born hero as one can get, and we are proud of our NMMC team and the dedication they continue to demonstrate throughout this pandemic crisis.”  

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