NEWPORT — Healthcare organizations have been turned upside down with the COVID-19 pandemic, but North Country Hospital says they are well prepared.
Many new protocols have been put into place to protect patients, their families, hospital staff, as well as the public, which include a strict no visitor policy and restricted points of entry into the hospital and campus buildings for employees.
Routine office visits, procedures, and elective surgeries have been postponed, and the hospital is doing its best to keep people away from the hospital at this time.
The North Country Hospital Emergency Department still serves patients 24/7 and clinics are providing some services by phone and telehealth.
“In light of this evolving crisis, I have been so encouraged with the energy and resourcefulness of our leaders, physicians, and staff,” said Hospital CEO Brian Nall.
If you have questions regarding COVID-19, a nurse resource line is available weekdays from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. by calling 802-334-4139.
This line can also be reached by calling 802-334-7331, option 7.
You will get a return call by the end of the business day or next business day.
Testing for COVID-19 continues by appointment for suspected positive cases of COVID-19.
North Country Hospital has an appropriately staffed and secure mobile lab site where patients can drive up to be tested in their car by appointment.
It currently operates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1-3 p.m.
They will soon be adding a mobile testing site on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Island Pond.
The hospital says staff have been preparing for the possible surge of patients and have speedily transformed the ambulance bay and two operating rooms should they be needed.
Temporary walls were built, screens purchased, and equipment moved with great attention to detail.
In light of the fact that the hospital is not operating at normal levels with services temporarily reduced and, in some cases, suspended, to best manage resources they have had to flex staff and suspend normal work hours for a portion of employees.
The hospital says they want to get all staff back in place as soon as possible.
Generous donations to the hospital’s Foundation by physicians and leaders have helped us create a COVID-19 response fund to assist colleagues in need.
“We are so grateful for the community support that has come our way each and every day during this difficult time,” Brian Nall added. “Thank you for your prayers and your offers of assistance, which include extra personal protection equipment, sewn masks and more. In the meantime, shelter in place, maintain social distancing when you do need to leave home, and wash those hands. Together, we will stay strong.”