Flu prompts two Northern Light Health facilities in County to limit visits

5 years ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle and Northern Light Continuing Care in Mars Hill are temporarily limiting visitations due to the severity of influenza and a respiratory virus outbreak at the Mars Hill facility.  

“In an effort to protect our hospital patients and our continuing care residents, as well as the family and friends who visit them, we are discouraging visitation at this time,” said senior physician executive Jay Reynolds, MD, in a press release. “Those who cannot avoid coming into either facility will be asked to wear a mask and to wash their hands upon entrance and exit.”

Through Feb. 10 of this flu season, three people in Maine have died of the flu, none in Aroostook County, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. A little more than 150 individuals in Aroostook County have tested positive for the flu during the past season compared to 768 people during the 2017-2018 season.

However, Reynolds said that Northern Light Health is taking extra precautions due to an increase in influenza activity in the region.

The precautions also extend to the Continuing Care center in Mars Hill, which provides long-term care. The Mars hill facility has been affected by an outbreak of Influenza A, also known as the H1N1 virus, and an outbreak of Respiratory Syncytial Virus, a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms but can be dangerous to infants and older adults.

Due to these outbreaks, all resident activities at the Mars Hill center are on hold, and therapy sessions are being rescheduled for outpatients who have respiratory issues or underlying conditions that would cause them to be more apt to become ill.

“We ask members of the public to please take this precaution into consideration before planning a visit,” Reynolds said. “It truly is in the best interest of our patients and potential visitors.”

Questions about the visitation policy at the hospital can be directed to 768-4304, while questions regarding visitation at Continuing Care can be directed to 768-4915.