The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has already, and will continue to, put a strain on healthcare resources and critical personnel including first responders, emergency medical services, and their necessary supplies. It is essential that we all take steps to protect and preserve these critical resources, so that emergency services and healthcare can continue to serve the community over a long period of time.
We cannot do this without you.
Our goal is to flatten the curve. What does that mean? It means that by following CDC guidelines for social distancing, particularly staying away from gatherings of any size, we may be able to slow the spread of COVID-19. Our health care system is built to handle higher levels of individuals in care, but it is not designed to handle a mass influx of critical needs patients. It is imperative that we protect our capacity and try to control the needs incrementally, not all at once.
Our community has incredible first responders and health care providers, but there is a finite supply. It is imperative that the community uses healthcare and emergency services very judiciously. You can do this by:
- Following established procedures for health care. Call your health care provider if you have a concern or are displaying symptoms. Many healthcare organizations and insurance companies offer telehealth or phone consultations with a doctor or nurse for your initial questions. If you do not have a primary care provider or access to telehealth, please call one of the following numbers: 207-404-8000 (PCHC) or (844) 489-1822 (Northern Light hotline).
- Listen to your provider and be accurate about your symptoms to ensure that you are receiving the appropriate information and advice.
- It is imperative that first responders and healthcare professionals are aware of your symptoms before they assist you. This will help conserve personal protective equipment (PPE); and will keep healthcare and public safety staff unexposed so that they can continue to serve you and our community.
- Use 911 for acute care only – please do not tie up emergency response resources for triage of symptoms. Our community, our friends and neighbors, still need us to respond and maintain services for life threatening emergencies.
This region is fortunate to be served by such dedicated healthcare and emergency response personnel. We must come together to do all we can to preserve and protect those resources so they can assist us in the challenging times ahead.