Testing Tent Process Transitions to Northern Light Walk-In Care
Starting Monday, May 11, Northern Light Inland Hospital will begin to transition its medical screening tent site at the Faith Church parking lot to a more permanent setting. Drive-up COVID-19 testing by appointment only will continue at Northern Light Walk-In Care, located at 174 Kennedy Memorial Drive, next to Inland Hospital in Waterville.
“The tent site was very effective as we launched our initial response to COVID-19, but it was never meant to be a long-term solution,” said Dan Booth, vice president of operations at Inland. “Our testing will now be in a different location, but it’s the same simple process to get screened and tested. People will still need to call our Screening Hotline at 844-489-1822 to be screened and referred by appointment to the drive-up testing at Walk-In Care.”
Regular walk-in care will continue as normal at the location and Inland is taking all necessary steps to safely provide care for all our patients. A major safety measure is using the drive-up test process, where patients with COVID-19 test appointments stay in their car when they arrive at the location. They will be instructed to call the office to alert staff they are there, and then a dedicated healthcare provider will come out to the patient’s vehicle to swab them for the test.
Booth stressed, “It is very important for people to know that the removal of the temporary tent site should not be taken as an indication that COVID-19 is no longer present in our communities or contagious. It simply means that we have established a new location locally for testing. And if we have a surge in cases, we have a plan to manage greater volume with all the tools and safety processes we’ve gained since the pandemic started.”
Hospital leaders want to thank Faith Church for allowing Inland to use their parking lot and teen center for the test site for the past two months. “It has been a great partnership and we are grateful for their community spirit. It shows we are all in this together,” said Terri Vieira, president of Inland Hospital. “The tent site provided an easy to access, central location. Now, we are on to the next phase of meeting community needs.”
According to Gavin Ducker, MD, Inland’s senior physician executive and co-president of the Northern Light Health medical group, “It’s vital that we all continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 and every action you take helps. Wash hands frequently with warm soapy water for at least 40 seconds, cover coughs and sneezes with our elbows and tissues, call your provider and self-isolate when you’re sick, stay home when possible, and maintain a six-foot physical distance when around others. Also, wear a face covering in public and please know that it is mandatory to wear one at all healthcare facilities for the safety of patients and staff.”
Meanwhile, the hospital is cautiously working to gradually resume more in-person healthcare services, specifically those that are medically necessary and time sensitive that may have been delayed due to COVID-19.
For more information about COVID-19, visit northernlighthealth.org/Inland-Hospital. To be screened for COVID-19, call our Screening Hotline at 844-489-1822.