COVID-19 NEWS

North Country Healthcare Hospitals Begin Administering COVID-19 Vaccines to Employees

 

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Ned Kershaw, RN, Operating Room staff member, receives his COVID-19 Vaccine.

 

On Thursday, December 17, as part of North Country Healthcare’s (NCH) commitment to best ensure the health and wellbeing of our communities, NCH hospitals (Androscoggin Valley Hospital, Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital, Weeks Medical Center) began administering COVID-19 vaccines to a number of its employees who wished to receive it. A limited supply of the vaccine is being sent to each facility semi-weekly. Administration to the NCH employees requesting it is anticipated to take a number of weeks, and will be managed in a manner consistent with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.

Based on the COVID-19 Allocation Guidelines for Phase 1a from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NHDHHS), NCH and its affiliates have reviewed all staff based on job responsibilities, and assigned each individual to one of three risk categories:

Most Risk: Front line clinical staff who provide direct patient care and support staff with risk of exposure to bodily fluids or aerosols

Moderate risk: Staff who have indirect or limited patient contact

Least risk: Administrative or other staff with no expected routine patient contact

NCH and its affiliates make no distinction regarding priority among physicians, nurses, other clinicians, and support staff (e.g., housekeeping, food services, registration) who are at risk of exposure to the virus. After allocating each employee into one of the three risk categories above, each employee who has chosen to be vaccinated is assigned a number based on CDC medical risk factors and age.

The initial allotment of the vaccine was received in New Hampshire earlier this week. That allotment was then disbursed to several regions of the State, including Coos County. Initial doses are part of the

  Phase 1a vaccination plan which incorporates at-risk health workers, older adults in residential care     

  settings, and first responders. Subsequent vaccination beyond Phase 1a will occur as supplies allow.

  The vaccine, which is administered as two injections three or four weeks apart, dependent on the brand

  received, is part of NCH’s ongoing effort to reduce transmission of the virus which has recently spiked in

  Northern New Hampshire.

  “Vaccination of our employees is a critical step in significantly reducing COVID-19 transmission,”  

  commented Tom Mee, RN, BSN, MBA, Chief Executive Officer. “I applaud everyone within our

  organization who has worked so diligently in the planning and execution of this historic action.

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit:

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html

The NH Department of Health and Human Services website:

https://www.nh.gov/covid19/index.htm

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration

https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid- 19/covid-19-vaccines

 

North Country Healthcare Provides COVID-19 Testing Information

North Country Healthcare Provides COVID-19 Testing Information

Consistent with the NCH Mission to provide high quality healthcare, it is critically important that patients receive the most appropriate test with corresponding response time.  Please note that only individuals who have had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (provided by the Centers for Disease Control, and listed below) within the past seven days should receive a rapid BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 antigen test:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

In addition to testing as appropriate, members of the public should examine their routines, and ensure that the following actions are taken: 

  • Wear a face covering
  • Avoid non-essential contact with those outside of home or work
  • Wash hands regularly
  • Stay home from work, school, or other gatherings, if not feeling well
  • If not feeling well, contact a medical provider by phone
  • Get a flu shot

These measures are especially important to protect the older adults and/or those with underlying health conditions living in our community.

Individually and collectively, we remain committed to the wellbeing of our citizens.  The ongoing implementation of best practices, consultation with public health professionals, and community teamwork will help keep those in the North Country safe.

We implore everyone to play an active role to best maintain the low number of COVID-19 cases in our region.

Testing locations and times include:

Androscoggin Valley

Hospital

59 Page Hill Rd, Berlin, NH

Hospital front entrance

portico

9:30 - 11:30am, Mon - Fri

Drive-up Testing by Appointment:

603-915-6190

 

 

Upper Connecticut

Valley Hospital

181 Corliss Ln, Colebrook, NH

Tent in hospital parking lot

Starting at 10am, Mon - Fri

Starting at 9am, Sat - Sun

Drive-up Testing by Appointment:

603-388-4259

 

 

Weeks Medical Center

170 Middle St, Lancaster, NH

Old Lancaster Physicians

Office across the street from

the hospital

10:30am - 12pm, Mon & Thur

10am - 12pm, Tue, Wed, & Fri

Drive-up Testing by Appointment:

603-788-5095

 

 

Testing is also available at Coos County Family Health Services

133 Pleasant St, Berlin, NH

8:30am - 4pm, Thur - Fri

Drive-up Testing by Appointment:

603-752-2040

2 Broadway Ave, Gorham, NH

Children Only

By Appointment Only:

603-466-2741

 

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