The Star-Herald

A.R. Gould Hospital extends visiting hours

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital announced July 1 that visiting hours at the hospital will be expanded to 10 a.m.-6 p.m. starting Thursday, July 2.

“COVID precautions led to many changes in our policies and procedures, but we are continuing to evaluate and adjust as we can to evolving circumstances. We have been ‘reopening’ our services carefully over several weeks now and all has gone well,” said President Greg LaFrancois. 

“We are confident in extending visiting hours because visitors have been respectful of our policies and the needs of our patients,” he said. “We were able to keep everyone safe.”  

The extended hours, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., are for patients in the hospital’s medical/surgical, acute rehabilitation, and specialty intensive care units.  Visitors continue to be limited to one person per day for a patient, although who that one designated person is can change daily.  

The women and children’s unit visitor policy has not changed. One designated visitor for each expectant mother or pediatric patient can stay for the duration of the patient’s hospitalization.

Other than some specific exceptions, the hospital continues to restrict visitors in the emergency department, continuing care in Mars Hill, and outpatient clinical practices. Exceptions include the parent or guardian of a minor, a person to accompany a patient with special needs, a visitor with an OB patient during ultrasounds, and a visitor with a cancer patient for a new diagnosis.

“We are also evaluating the possibility of allowing outside visits at continuing care in Mars Hill.  These are our most vulnerable residents and we really must move slowly,” said LaFrancois. 

 “We understand the valuable role family and friends play in a patient’s recovery and are doing all we can to safely reintroduce visitors at the hospital.  We continue to do this in a phased approach to ensure the safety of all involved,” said Dr. Jay Reynolds, senior physician executive. 

“We have been using technology to keep our patients and residents connected to family, and we will continue to offer that option as well,” Reynolds said.

Visitors at any of AR Gould’s facilities must wear a mask, including in a patient’s room; must be screened upon arrival, including temperature checks; and must maintain physical distancing.  

Submitted by the Communications Office of Northern Light AR Gould Hospital.

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