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Cary admits first COVID-19 patient

CARIBOU, Maine — Cary Medical Center in Caribou admitted its first COVID-19 positive patient on Thursday, Oct. 8, according to the hospital. 

“We have spent months preparing for this inevitability and today, we are confident that our healthcare team is equipped to provide the exceptional care that people have come to expect when they walk through our doors,” the hospital said.

The hospital also changed its visitation policy as a result of the admission in an effort to ensure the safety of patients, staff and visitors.

Effective Oct. 8, each patient can only designate one person to visit throughout their stay at the hospital, while all others are asked to communicate remotely. Visitors cannot be sick, even if they only have a sniffle. Visitors under the age of 16 are not allowed in the facility.

Patients in the emergency room are also only allowed one visitor after staff have triaged the patient and cleared them for the guest. Anyone accompanying a patient to the emergency department will be asked to wait in their vehicle until they are allowed in.

Anyone who is showing symptoms of mild sickness will be asked to reschedule their visit, unless their doctor determines that the visit warrants immediate testing and attention. 

People are being asked not to bring others with them to outpatient testing appointments, with the exception being for those with physical handicaps who require assistance to move through the facility. 

The hospital will also allow exceptions for a minor child or adult who is a patient and does not have the capacity to make their own decisions, and for one person to accompany a patient to an ultrasound.

Cary will also exceptions in end-of-life care situations. The only exception for a patient or person under investigation with COVID-19 is the parent of a minor child. This parent will also be treated as a person under investigation if they visit.

Visitors are asked to wash their hands before entering a room and before leaving the facility.

Any community members concerned about possible exposure are being asked to contact Pines Health Services at 207-498-2356 or to visit https://get-tested-covid19.org for information about nearby testing sites.

“We realize that these restrictions may cause challenges, and we are sorry for any inconvenience or difficulties they may cause,” the hospital said.

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