Hospital CEOs discuss Covid in the schools

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 5:04 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Schools have been seeing an increase in cases, causing some to go remote and others to have students in quarantine. In Medical Monday, we continue our series with the Hospital CEOs. They discuss their concerns about the County’s youth.

Greg LaFrancois, the CEO of AR Gould Hospital says; “That’s what keeps me up at night and it is the pediatric population. So first off, what can families do? They can get vaccinated, right? Everybody over the age of 12 can be vaccinated. They should be vaccinated. And the children over the age of two should be wearing masks. And these are all uncomfortable things, but this is a dangerous time and these are the things we need to do for the children until they can ultimately be vaccinated. That is a concern. We don’t have a lot of pediatric inpatient capacity up here in the county. There’s there’s not a lot of children who historically have needed inpatient beds and those patients would have to go south. Really? That’s what keeps me up at night.”

Peter Sirois, the CEO of Northern Maine Medical Center adds, “One of the things that I worry about as well is if the children get sick, our workforce is 85% female. And that affects our workforce. If the school is not running or daycare is not running, we’re going to have a hard time to staff, our floors, our units, our area, every area of the hospital. So we’re concerned about that side. So we’re really working hard to educate the public that the children, can get affected and some get pretty sick.”

Kris Doody, Cary Medical Center’s CEO says; “Right after this interview, I’m actually headed to the caribou high school to talk with the caribou school board, with members of our medical staff. And, and I agree with my colleagues, you know, we are very concerned about, we seen the rising number since school has started in the last week and a half or so. And it’s also not just about masking social distancing, hand washing. That’s all extremely important. when teachers are in the break room and they’re eating together, they have to socially distance. It’s not just our students. There’s teachers that that obviously can test positive. So there’s things that the entire school has to do to make sure that we’re, we’re minimizing the exposure as much as possible. And as Greg mentioned, you know, the importance of vaccinating.”

Shawn Anderson, the CEO of Houlton Regional Hospital says; “I think it’s fair to say that none of us, would like our kids to have to go through this. but really rolling the calendar back back to the early days of the pandemic. When, when we were talking, very significantly about masking, about hand-washing about social distancing. Those things still apply today and they apply for, our children today. We early on, we thought, well, we think that the kids aren’t going to be effected. I think we’re finding that they are being affected. And, so the very things that we did to keep ourselves safe, 18 months ago, 15 months ago are the very things that will keep our kids safe today and bring on the vaccine.”

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