April 01, 2020
Portsmouth, Rochester, and Derry, NH - HCA Healthcare New Hampshire hospitals, Frisbie Memorial Hospital, Parkland Medical Center, and Portsmouth Regional Hospital, announced today that all staff and providers in all patient care areas will now wear masks, expanding their use beyond suspected or positive COVID-19 cases. This initiative will increase the protection of staff, healthcare providers, patients, and others in our hospitals.
Masks will be optional only for staff in non-patient care areas who can consistently maintain social distancing of at least six feet during brief interactions with colleagues. All visitors and patients presenting for outpatient testing will also be required to wear masks.
Dean Carucci, CEO of Portsmouth Regional Hospital, Jeff Scionti, CEO of Frisbie Memorial Hospital and John Skevington, CEO of Parkland Medical Center stated the following:
“Our top priority is protecting our patients, clinicians, nurses, and colleagues so we can best serve our communities throughout this pandemic. We are taking this step now because of evidence that social distancing, while a key strategy for interrupting the spread of coronavirus, is difficult to maintain in the busy patient care environment.”
HCA Healthcare New Hampshire’s latest analysis indicates that it has adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies available to meet the demand for additional use of masks pursuant to this new policy. Even though the three NH Hospitals currently have sufficient supplies of PPE, its hospitals will continue to take steps to conserve it, including reuse and reprocessing of PPE where appropriate.
Professionals in HCA Healthcare New Hampshire’s supply chain have continually worked with epidemiologists and data scientists to track use and anticipated demand of PPE so stock can be allocated appropriately. Staff at the three New Hampshire hospitals are also working around the clock to safeguard existing supplies and secure additional shipments.