About Coronavirus (COVID-19)
PCHC is monitoring the spread of Coronavirus, also called COVID-19. We are here to provide the latest information and care.
How is PCHC preparing for COVID-19?
We are committed to following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s precautions and screening guidelines and the Maine CDC. You can see all their recommendations and stay up to date by referring to the the CDC website and CDC fact sheets.
PCHC is making temporary changes to our normal operations in all our practices to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that all who need it continue to receive excellent medical care.
Along with re-scheduling non-urgent office visits, we are working to offer telemedicine or telephone appointments wherever possible and we are screening temperatures for everyone before they enter.
In keeping with the CDC recommendations during this public health crisis, PCHC asks that you please do not visit our practices if you have a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath.
To minimize exposure, please do not bring anyone with you to your visit, except if you are a parent accompanying a child, or an adult with a guardian.
Because COVID-19 is clearly not the only health issue people have right now, PCHC will continue treatment and prevention services to the maximum extent possible via telemedicine and other electronic means, so patients should call us to get further guidance
on how to meet their healthcare needs, whether related to COVID-19 or not
We urge everyone to call before coming in Please call (207) 404-8000
All PCHC Walk-in care clinics will remain open.
PCHC Walk-In-Care is open to everyone, not just PCHC patients.
Most Walk-in-Care locations are open 7 a.m. -7 p.m. Monday – Friday and 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on weekends.
Our Union Street Walk-in-Care is open 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. 7 days a week.
|Brewer Medical Center Walk-in-Care|
735 Wilson Street, Brewer
|Seaport Community Health Center|
53 Schoodic Drive, Belfast
|Helen Hunt Health Center Walk-in Care|
242 Brunswick Street, Old Town
|Penobscot Pediatrics Walk-in-Care|
6 Telcom Dr., Bangor
|Penobscot Community Health Center Walk-in Care|
1012 Union Street, Bangor
|PCHC Dental Center Walk-in-Care|
1048 Union Street, Bangor
Following the Governor’s recommendation and the position of the Dental Association, the dental center is closed to all but acute/emergency care. Hours of operation are changed temporarily to: 8 am to 5 pm, Monday-Friday (from 7:30am to 6pm). If you have any symptoms of a respiratory illness including Cough, Fever, Sore Throat or Shortness of Breath, please call DENTAL (207 992-2152) before entering the building.
We are rescheduling routine office visits to help decrease the chance of spreading the coronavirus. Your provider’s office will be able to offer further instructions at the time your appointment is rescheduled, which may include a telemedicine visit with a provider, a phone call, or a home visit by one of our care management nurses.
Anyone with a fever or flu-like symptoms will be asked to wear a mask and use hand sainitizer. If you have symptoms, you will also be asked to wait separately from other patients, either outside or in a designated area within the practice. To the greatest extent possible we are minimizing exposure in waiting rooms by staggering essential scheduled visits, escorting patients directly into treatment rooms, separating patients in waiting areas who are sick away from those who are well, and we have implemented an intense hourly cleaning/sterilization protocol for public areas in all our locations. Some specific updates are below and will be updated as new information becomes available. This information may change quickly, so if you have questions, it is always best to call before coming in.
SEAPORT COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER
Call (207) 338-6900 with any questions – Walk-in-Care is open and available to assist patients.
WINTERPORT COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER
CAPEHART COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER
New Schedule beginning April 1, 2020 – Closed Wednesdays. Walk-in-Care is open and available to assist patients. PCHC Walk-in-Care Locations are open for all patients 7am – 7pm at Brewer Medical Center, Helen Hunt Health Center, Penobscot Community Health Center and Penobscot Pediatrics.
Non-essential well-child-care visits are being rescheduled. Telemedicine options are available. Well-checks at 12 months of age and under are considered essential, however, and continue. Patients are escorted through separate entrance and directly to exam room.
HOPE HOUSE EMERGENCY SHELTER
Emergency Shelter is open and will continue to serve the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness in this crisis, with ramped infection control and screening protocols.
JACKMAN HEALTH CENTER
8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday-Friday
We will continue to have JCHC staff on call, as they are now, for after-hours urgent needs by calling 668-7755 and speaking with the on-call provider, through 5/31/2020. As your local health care providers, we strongly urge people to pay attention to the social-distancing recommendations put forth by the Maine CDC and the governor’s office, if not to protect yourself, then to protect others.
OFFICE-BASED DERMATOLOGY PROCEDURES
These medical specialty services are being offered only in cases where the need is urgent or where services can be accessed via telehealth or phone. Call ((207) 404-800
Clubhouse community space is temporarily closed, but Club House staff continue to provide services by telephone and telemedicine to members. Call (207) 404-8383.
Our Pharmacy are offering a text messaging option for notification of prescription refills in addition to the standard telephone notification. Pharmacy is also working on ways to deliver filled prescriptions curbside, reducing the need for patients to enter the pharmacy. Call (207) 404-800 to be connected to your respective pharmacy.
We are temporarily suspending access to some of our non-clinical/administrative/business/support services buildings. Call (207) 404 -8000 to be connected to the appropriate department so we can be sure to continue to assist everyone.
PCHC leadership is part of a multidisciplinary group of area health care leaders who are working together to develop and implement community-wide strategies to be prepared, along with local, state and federal officials. We are listening to our staff and our patients. We are striving to keep informed and to inform…and to provide access to the most up-to-date information from the CDC in support our most valuable resources – our staff, our patients and our greater community.
What is COVID-19
COVID-19 is a newly discovered coronavirus that causes respiratory illness that can spread from person-to-person.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms can be mild to severe respiratory illness, including fever, cough and shortness of breath. Some people, usually the elderly or immunocompromised, may have more severe complications, such as pneumonia.
Help prevent the spread of COVID-19
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. You can take basic precautions and practice good prevention practices, including:
- Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick or have flu-like symptoms.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneezewith your sleeve or a tissue. Then, discard the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces with a household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
What about face masks?
Face masks should only be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Local COVID-19 Testing
Because testing resources are very limited and with Maine meeting the CDC standards for a moderate level of community transmission, testing must now be prioritized to high risk individuals.
PCHC will follow the CDC established priority groups for testing:
- Those who are hospitalized
- Health care workers
- First responders (EMS, police, firefighters, etc)
- People living in nursing facilities, assisted living, group homes, jails and shelters
- People older than age 60
- People with underlying medical conditions
People with symptoms of COVID 19 who do not fall into one of these categories will be advised to stay at home and away from others but not tested. The CDC will not test samples from asymptomatic people.
Also re-testing confirmed cases in order to end isolation is no longer necessary. People with COVID 19 (confirmed or by presumptive diagnosis) should self-isolate until:
- A minimum of 7 days since first symptoms has passed AND at least 72 hours without fever (without using fever reducers and with improved respiratory symptoms
People who are not sick should not come in for testing, and people who are sick may not need testing. If you are wondering whether you should be tested or if you are sick with a fever, cough, sore throat or any other respiratory symptoms CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER FIRST! Most PCHC patients may dial (207) 404-8000. This allows us to protect you, protect other people in the practice, and our staff and to provide care more safely and efficiently.
Stay Informed about COVID-19
Here are some useful links from the CDC:
- 2019 Novel Coronavirus Home
- What You Need to Know About COVID-19: Fact Sheet
- What to Do If You Get Sick: Fact Sheet
For the most up-to-date information, please visit the CDC’s website.