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North Country Healthcare News

News and Updates

North Country Healthcare - COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates

If you have questions about COVID-19, please call your doctor or dial 2-1-1.

COVID-19 CDC Guidelines

JUNE 30, 2020
 
North Country Healthcare affiliates continue to implement clinical best practices to keep you and your loved ones safe. Such measures include the limitation of visitors, wearing of masks, and social distancing.   


JUNE 14, 2020
 
Is your business/civic organization opening/expanding services tomorrow?  The team at North Country Healthcare can help!  We're offering free clinical consulting services to help you take the worry and confusion out of what you should do to help ensure a healthy environment.  Simply call James Patry, System Director, Marketing, at (603) 326-5606 for more information.
 

 
JUNE 9, 2020

North Country Healthcare continues to practice social distancing and mask wearing at our facilities.  Please note that visitation remains restricted at our locations, with special exceptions for delivering mothers, end-of-life care, and pediatrics.  


JUNE 6, 2020

North Country Healthcare (NCH) is pleased to announce that its affiliates will move to Phase 3 of Re-establishment of services.  For more information, please click here.  


MAY 21, 2020

North Country Healthcare is pleased to offer complementary clinical consulting services for area businesses / civic organizations in re-opening / re-establishment of services.  For details, please click here.  


MAY 18, 2020

Tom Mee, RN, BSN, MBA, Chief Executive Officer of North Country Healthcare was featured on New Hampshire Public Radio this morning.  To listen, simply click here.


MAY 12, 2020

A number of services have resumed at NCH affiliates, where each entity continues to act in an abundance of caution and with a continued focus of patient safety.  For more information, please click here.  


MAY 8, 2020

Learn more about our preparations for resuming a number of services to our patients, by clicking here.


MAY 7, 2020

In a statement issued earlier today, the NH Division of Public Health Services has indicated that "as the COVID-19 outbreak stabilizes in New Hampshire, we are transitioning to a containment strategy."  A four-step "Box It In" themed-approach will be undertaken.  For more information, please click here.


MAY 6, 2020

Using best clinical practices, North Country Healthcare affiliates have been developing plans and procedures for resuming select services at our facilities and patient homes (Home Health, continued telehealth).  For answers to frequently asked questions, please click here.  


MAY 4, 2020

Incident Command Centers of North Country Healthcare and our affiliates continue to meet regularly to develop surge plans and secure resources.  We continue to welcome and appreciate donations of masks, face shields and gowns.  For information about how you can support healthcare in your area, please click here.  


MAY 1, 2020

Based on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, we have posted a new list of frequently asked questions and answers relative to COVID-19 testing to this website.  To view them, please click here.  


APRIL 30, 2020

Testing at the National Guard Armory on North Main Street in Lancaster is now available eight hours per day, seven days per week for individuals with symptoms of COVID-19.  An order from your primary care provider is required.  If you don’t have a primary care provider or health insurance, please dial 2-1-1.  


APRIL 27, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has added a number of new symptoms to the list of those which may appear 2-14 days after exposure to COVID-19.  For a list, simply click here.  As always, if you suspect you may have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19 or are exhibiting these symptoms yourself and are concerned that you may have COVID-19, please contact your primary care provider.  If you don't have a primary care provider, please dial 2-1-1 or your local primary care office.


APRIL 21, 2020

We continue to thank everyone who is donating face masks, gowns, etc., for use by our staff as personal protective equipment.  Interested in supporting one or more NCH affiliates in such a capacity?  Please click here to get started.


APRIL 20, 2020

Do you have questions about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) testing and how the issuance of a test is determined?  For answers to frequently asked questions, please click here.  


APRIL 18, 2020

Despite the temporary suspension of some on-site availability, telehealth options remain available with a number of our specialty providers.  For an appointment at one of our numerous outpatient clinics, please call (603) 788-5095 or (603) 752-2300.  


APRIL 17, 2020

North Country Healthcare joins the NH Hospital Association in paying tribute to our state's Health Care Heroes.  To view a special message, please click here.  


APRIL 16, 2020

The affiliates of North Country Healthcare (NCH) continue to monitor any and all COVID-19 activity within New Hampshire and nationally.  In addition, we encourage everyone to become familiar with the latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, available by clicking here.  


APRIL 15, 2020

The affiliates of North Country Healthcare as well as our associated New England Heart & Vascular Institute locations continue to offer telehealth services during these uncertain times.  Be sure to contact your healthcare provider to see if such an interaction is right for you!  


APRIL 14, 2020

We thank all of the healthcare workers within and outside of North Country Healthcare.  You are heroes.  


APRIL 13, 2020

It's important to know the truth about COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has five facts (which can be viewed by clicking here).  They can help dispel myths and provide valuable information.


APRIL 12, 2020

North County Healthcare affiliates continue to welcome donations of homemade or store-bought masks as well as other relevant personal protective equipment including face shields or goggles.  If interested in donating, simply click here.  Someone will be in touch with you shortly.  Thank you. 


APRIL 11, 2020

Wondering what to do if you are sick?  Simply click here to answers to frequently asked questions.


APRIL 10, 2020

Important information regarding COVID-19 testing availability can be seen by clicking here.


APRIL 9, 2020

Since the inception of their availability, there have been more than 600 telehealth patient interactions across the proud partners of North Country Healthcare.  These appointments decrease the need for patient exposure outside of their respective residence.


APRIL 8, 2020

A Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 Self Checker, a guide to help you make decisions and seek appropriate care can be viewed at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html


APRIL 7, 2020

All North Country Healthcare partners continue to welcome the donation of personal protective equipment.  To learn how you can help, simply click here.  

APRIL 6, 2020

  • Effective immediately, all patients and employees entering an NCH facility will given a mask to best protect them and the NCH workforce from COVID-19.
  • Surge plans and triage drills for NCH facilities continue to be refined

APRIL 5, 2020

Face Mask protocol continues to be refined by all North Country Healthcare (NCH) partners.


APRIL 4, 2020

North Country Home Health & Hospice Agency, a proud partner of North Country Healthcare, continues to work closely with the members of the North Country Healthcare Incident Command Team on the refinement of treatment plans for any Hospice patient who would test positive for COVID-19.


APRIL 3, 2020

  • Please click here for important information about the use of nebulizers during this time of COVID-19
  • Telehealth services continue to be implemented for our patients, with more than 160 such appointments this week


APRIL 2, 2020

If you or someone you know uses a CPAP/BiPAP machine during this time of COVID-19, please click here.  


APRIL 1, 2020

North Country Healthcare and our proud partners continue to work closely on refining surge planning.  


MARCH 31, 2020

North Country Healthcare affiliates welcome and greatly appreciate your support.  Would you like to donate your time, talent or resources?  A link to indicate how you'd like to lend your support will be available shortly.  Items particularly welcomed include N95 masks, gowns and hand sanitizer.  Thank you for your kind generosity to date.


MARCH 30, 2020

  • Please remember to practice social distancing
  • NCH-affiliate hospitals conducted remote press conferences with area media
  • Questions about COVID-19 testing?  Please click here.

MARCH 29, 2020

North Country Healthcare affiliates continue to work closely with community partners on enhancing available care options and resources.  

The NCH Incident Command Center members continue to meet, as they have daily for multiple weeks.  Planning and best practices continue to be shared.  We are also working closely with our nursing homes to remain connected virtually for patient review.


MARCH 28, 2020

In order to help us make critical and judicious decisions at all of our NCH partner locations regarding COVID-19 testing, we encourage individuals to call their primary care provider (or dial 2-1-1 if you do not have a primary care provider) to determine next steps in terms of patient care.  Thank you.


MARCH 27, 2020

North Country Healthcare partners continue to acquire resources including personal protective equipment donated by our community members.  Hand sanitizer, facemasks and surgical gowns are welcome.  Those interested can contact your local NCH affiliate.  


MARCH 26, 2020

The proud partners of North Country Healthcare remind you to please take these three steps if you begin to exhibit a fever, cough or shortness of breath:  1)  Call your primary care provider and follow all of his/her instructions.  2)  If you don't have a primary care provider, please dial 2-1-1 or the nearest primary care office.  3)  Do not visit a hospital emergency room without receiving prior arrival instructions from that medical facility.  


MARCH 25, 2020

Please click here to view a letter to the community from North Country Healthcare Chief Executive Officer, Tom Mee, RN, BSN, MBA.


MARCH 24, 2020

  • MRI services will continue to be available at Androscoggin Valley Hospital for emergent needs
  • Telehealth services continue to be deployed for specialty clinics, emergency care, and more

MARCH 23, 2020

  • In our ongoing abundance of caution, North Country Healthcare (NCH) facilities have suspended accepting cash payments in-person and accepting customer service walk-ins.  Those looking to make a payment are encouraged to use mail or online means, as available. 
  • Medical Records may be picked-up curbside, as available.  Please call ahead.
  • Telehealth options for specialty and emergency care continue to be established at NCH facilities.

MARCH 22, 2020

  • First and foremost, thank you to all who have expressed an interest in or who have already donated supplies including N95 masks, hand sanitizer and gloves.  Please feel free to contact your respective North Country Healthcare (NCH) facility if you would like to contribute.
  • NCH facilities are increasing the use of telehealth resources available for our Hospitalists, numerous specialty providers, Home Health providers, and Emergency Department providers.
  • Screening of patients and employees continues at NCH facilities


MARCH 21, 2020

In our ongoing abundance of caution, North Country Healthcare has restricted visitors to all our facilities, and effective Tuesday, March 24, will temporarily suspended outpatient specialty services.  Wherever possible, we will make every effort to utilize technology to provide services between a patient's home and the respective healthcare provider.  We will contact patients for whom this option will exist. 

In addition, all routine laboratory tests, screening mammography, bone density, routine ultrasound, routine stress tests, pulmonary function tests, and Physical and Occupational Therapy within our hospitals have been postponed until the current public health crisis has been lifted. 

If you have any questions about emergent laboratory testing for therapeutic reasons, please contact your ordering healthcare provider to ensure that your need can be met. Some of our provider practices have the ability to draw blood and send it for testing.

Recognizing the pandemic of COVID-19, we are taking every measure possible to best ensure the health and well-being of our patients, providers, nurses and staff.  We are dedicated to serving our communities and appreciate your ongoing trust, patience and understanding.



MARCH 20, 2020

  • In order to promote and best ensure a high-quality, healing environment, Androscoggin Valley Hosptial, Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital, and Weeks Medical Center are closed to visitors.
  • Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs) and Laboratory tests which are not medically necessary have been suspended.


MARCH 19, 2020

Dear North Country Residents and Visitors,

Despite the fact that COVID-19 was unexpected, the proud partners of North Country Healthcare (Androscoggin Valley Hospital, North Country Home Health & Hospice Agency, Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital, and Weeks Medical Center) remain committed to our collective Mission of assuring consistent, high quality, accessible, and integrated healthcare to the communities we serve. However, as we adjust to these unprecedented times, that care may just look a little different.

As we continue to demonstrate and promote CDC guidelines of social distancing (remaining six feet from one another), washing hands often, covering coughs and sneezing into your elbow, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily, and staying home if you are sick, we recognize that our ongoing efforts to best ensure public health require us to take additional steps.

In recent days, our NCH facilities have:

 Restricted visitors to just one individual aged 18-59, per patient;
 Limited access of our Cafeteria to just providers and staff;
 Begun verbal and temperature screenings at entrances;
 Suspended our volunteer programs to ensure their and our patients’ and staffs’ health;
 Initiated telephone screenings with our Home Health patients prior to home visits.

We also realize that it is critical that we not only continue to care for our patients now, but also look ahead to what future needs might be. As such, we have made the difficult decision to postpone elective procedures (those which can safely be postponed) at Androscoggin Valley Hospital, Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital, and Weeks Medical Center. We are taking this action to ensure that we can continue to have the proper amount of space (beds) and personal protective equipment available should further developments occur. In addition, as referenced earlier, this will significantly help in terms of social distancing for both staff and patients.

Please know that as we move forward during these challenging times, we have every confidence in the expertise of our providers, nurses and staff as we collectively remain focused on keeping our friends, associates, and neighbors healthy. We thank you for the trust that you have placed in us.

Please continue to review the latest CDC guidelines for up-to-date information regarding COVID-19:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

North Country Healthcare updates will also be available at this site.


MARCH 18, 2020

  • North Country Healthcare facilities implementing series of questions and temperature screening for arriving patients and visitors.
  • North Country Healthcare continuing to explore available virtual visits for patients off-site.

MARCH 17, 2020

North Country Healthcare and our affiliates continue to implement precautionary measures to best ensure patient and staff safety relative to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Effective immediately and until further notice, NCH facilities are now restricted to patients, one visitor (aged 18-59) per patient, our healthcare providers, and NCH and NCH-affiliate staff.

Our Cafeterias are closed to members of the public. 

In addition, all public meetings and classes at NCH-affiliate locations have been suspended.


MARCH 16, 2020

No visitors under the age of 18 are allowed during this time, since young people are potential infectors without necessarily being ill themselves.  No visitors over age 59 to minimize their risk of infection.

Visitors will continue to be screened for flu-like or respiratory symptoms, such as fever, cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath.  Any visitors with obvious signs of illness will be asked kindly to leave. 


MARCH 15, 2020

Outpatients will be screened via telephone to ensure a symptom-free environment for those within clinics/hospitals.


MARCH 14, 2020

Rigorous control standards (social distancing, washing hands often with soap and water, avoiding contact with sick people, etc.) reinforced within community.


MARCH 13, 2020

  • North Country Healthcare Incident Command Center opens.
  • Clinical and support staff fitted for personal protective equipment and purifying air respirators.

“The providers and staff of North Country Healthcare partners continue to monitor COVID-19 developments and are working closely with the New Hampshire Hospital Association,” commented Tom Mee, RN, BSN, MBA, System, Chief Executive Officer, North Country Healthcare.

Steps which New Hampshire residents can take now to protect themselves include:

• Staying home and avoiding public places when sick (i.e. social distancing)

• Covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing (into your sleeve and not into your

hands)

• Washing hands frequently

• Avoiding being within six feet (close contact) of a person who is sick

• Avoiding sharing drinks, smoking/vaping devices, or other utensils or objects that may transmit saliva

• Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces

To contact us regarding North Country Healthcare news or about upcoming events,

please click here.