Franklin Memorial Hospital COVID-19 testing drive-thru clinic primary staff from left are Betsy Dorr, patient service representative; Molly Mitchell, RN; Jacob Hanstein, MA; Ashley Eustis, patient service representative; and Emily Wiggins-Rider, MA. Contributed photo

FARMINGTON — After 15 long, difficult months, new low daily cases statewide are a welcome milestone that reflects the progress Maine has made in getting people vaccinated, reducing the spread of the virus, and getting back to normal, according to Franklin Memorial Hospital.

Over the next few weeks the hospital plans to make adjustments in the hours of its COVID-19 testing drive-thru clinic. With each passing week management will evaluate to see if the drive thru can be closed earlier, a decision that is dependent on the community’s need for testing. Currently pre-op testing takes place from 8 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Drive-thru testing for individuals now takes place from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday and by appointment Saturday.

FMH plans to remain flexible to ensure its patients get timely testing. It may defer asymptomatic testing to the next morning when it closes the drive thru early. It may defer symptomatic testing until the next day, but will maintain flexibility to add someone to be tested if absolutely necessary. There may be a time coming soon when FMH closes the pre-op testing on the weekends and does this testing in a different location.

While the pace of those wanting COVID-19 vaccines has slowed considerably in recent weeks, the hospital’s COVID-19 walk-in vaccine clinic remains open from 8 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays. For updates to the schedule, visit mainehealth.org.

Molly Chaplin, RN, nurse manager for Franklin Health, has provided guidance with flexibility for her leadership of the testing site team, juggling schedules, informing staff of ever-changing clinical protocols, and ensuring that the staff needs were being met. Contributed photo

 

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