WESTERN KENTUCKY (WEHT) Some medical and dental services in western Kentucky are preparing to see patients in-person again after closing for several weeks. It’s part of the state’s gradual reopening of health care services.
The rehabilitation center at Ohio County Healthcare in Hartford is empty now, but patients will gradually be back here.
“It’s a gradual process,” said Jamie Evans, Director of Rehabilitation Services for Ohio County HealthCare.
Physical therapy clinics and dentists offices are some of the services allowed to restart after Governor Andy Beshear ordered them to close last month. This is part of the state’s phasing in reopening their health care system. Evans says patients will still have their temperature screened and curbside registration to keep waiting rooms clear.
“We’re communicating with our patients before they arrive for their ancillary services, so they can know what to expect. They are encouraged to wear a mask, as well as the staff is wearing a mask,” she added.
Owensboro Health officials say they’re still working through reopening plans at their main hospital. Dr. Justin Wedding, an orthodontist at Durall Wedding in Owensboro, says he and other dentists are using this week to train on new procedures which include spacing schedules out, keeping their lobby empty to prevent crowds, and updating their personal protective equipment.
“We’ve had to do things like air filtration to suction standards and then our masks have had to change. We have a more updated type of mask, like an N95 mask or a level three surgical mask, just so the aerosols don’t penetrate,” he explained.
State officials say more services such as outpatient surgery and invasive procedures could be allowed again as early as next month, and all patients must have pre-procedure testing done.
(This story was originally published on April 27, 2020)