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AR Gould reopens to visitors

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 8:05 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Starting Thursday, Northern Light AR Gould Hospital will once again welcome visitors.

After a COVID outbreak in the hospital earlier this month, visiting hours were cut completely in all areas except for the women’s and children’s unit. The outbreak has now been deemed closed

“We are absolutely thrilled that that has been cleared by Maine CDC, so the outbreak is considered closed and now we can safely bring back visitors,” said Communications Manager, Karen Gonya. “Having visitors and the support of family is just so important for patients.”

Visiting hours at AR Gould are 1 to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to noon on weekends and holidays.

AR Gould’s press release reads:

Northern Light AR Gould Hospital will again allow visitors to the hospital’s inpatient units beginning Thursday, June 24. The COVID outbreak in the hospital’s Medical/Surgical unit which happened earlier this month has now been officially deemed closed by the Maine CDC.

“We are relieved that the outbreak in our facility is over,” said Jay Reynolds, MD, senior physician executive at the hospital. “While closing most of the facility to visitors was a prudent precaution, it is very satisfying to now be able to safely lift those restrictions. We understand how important it is for our patients and for their families to be able to see and comfort each other in person.”

Beginning tomorrow (Thursday, June 24), the visitor policy will revert back to what it was prior to the outbreak. Inpatients on the Medical/Surgical, Acute Rehabilitation, and the Specialty Intensive Care units will be allowed one visitor, age 16 or older, per day. Visiting hours on Monday to Friday are from 1 pm to 5 pm; weekend and holiday hours are from 8 am to 12 noon. Once a visitor leaves the facility, they cannot return until the next day. The visitor can be a different person on different days.

For the Women and Children’s unit, which had not been part of the visitor suspension this month, the policy remains the same. One support person is allowed with an expectant mother for the duration of her stay, and this person can leave and return once each day. One parent or guardian can stay with a pediatric patient during hospitalization, alternating once each day.

One visitor or support person continues to be allowed in the Emergency Department, while visitors continue to be restricted in the hospital’s outpatient offices. Identified exceptions to this policy include: one parent for a pediatric patient; one visitor during provider appointments in Cancer Care, but not during treatments; one visitor in OB/GYN for all ultrasounds; and a support person for a patient with special needs in any office.

“We will continue to evaluate our policy as circumstances surrounding COVID change in Aroostook County and across the state. The vaccination rates in the community play a key role in determining the safety of extended visitation policies, so we encourage people who have not yet been vaccinated to consider doing so,” said Reynolds.

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