The sign at the entrance to the Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital in Presque Isle. Credit: David Marino Jr. / BDN

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — People coming to a Presque Isle hospital with COVID-19 are younger and sicker, according to a spokesperson at Northern Light AR Gould in Presque Isle.

The hospital had closed its doors to visitors in the emergency department Saturday evening, but by Monday morning had revised the policy. Hospital access restrictions are in place due to an increase in the number of COVID-19 patients, hospital spokesperson Karen Gonya said.

Nineteen people tested positive for COVID-19 at AR Gould and its affiliated walk-in clinics in Presque Isle and Caribou this past weekend, with five of those patients admitted to the hospital for treatment, Gonya said.

That number marks an increase from the previous five days, during which the hospital processed eight positive test results, she said.

“This is an alarming trend that underscores that COVID-19 is active in our community,” Gonya said. “The delta strain is more transmissible than the previous strains and we are seeing patients that are both younger and sicker.”

Many restrictions on emergency department visitors remain in place at AR Gould. Only pediatric patients, those with special needs or those experiencing end-of-life care are allowed to have one person accompany them during treatment or in the waiting room.

Correction: A previous version of this story said that the Caribou walk-in clinic was closed Monday and that AR Gould had closed its doors to all visitors. The Caribou clinic reopened Monday. The hospital only restricted access to emergency room visitors last weekend.