At Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, emergency department numbers are back to normal, which means they are seeing, on average, 130 to 155 people per day.
What You Need To Know
- Former COVID-19 units are scrubbed and disinfected from ceiling to the floors
- EVS staff continually sanitizes high-traffic areas
- Temperature checks and masks are required when visiting
It's a double edged sword. They don't want to see anyone sick, but at the same time, it's kind of a sigh of relief to see people coming in to get help.
"What's happening, because they are not here," Christina Tobin, director of Nursing at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo said. "So, they must be home and things must not be going well."
On top of the coronavirus crisis, that question was going through the minds of health care professionals. With warm weather on the way again, and knowing the need for health care never stops, Mercy detailed what's being done to stop the spread as COVID-19 positive and negative patients continue to come in.
"If you walk down there right now, you will see a bunch of rooms, some will say screening, some will say it there is a COVID positive patient, or a patient under investigation," Tobin explained.
Mercy compiled video on what it looks like when it comes to admission, or even visiting a sick loved one. Everyone has their temperature taken and they are given a clean mask. You'll see everyone in a mask.
"We do screen everyone who is admitted, and when we say screening, we are swabbing, because we know there are asymptomatic positives out there," Tobin said.
So, what happens once those patients get better and the units are no longer needed?
"What we would do, is we would move those patients into another unit, or wait until everyone was discharged, and we would clean from top to bottom," Tara Graham, Infection Control supervisor for Mercy said. "You know, ceilings, walls, floors, I think it took one to two days for the entire units."
"Anything that could be thrown out, was. Anything that could be sterilized was sterilized and anything that could be wiped down, was wiped down," Graham continued.
After that, the Environmental Services Staff would go back and check to see if there was any living bacterium on the surfaces.
"There is a device that they can go back and check," Graham said. "So they were able to go back through and test it out and make sure."
Throughout the hospital, high traffic surfaces are continually wiped down as well. And hand sanitizer is in abundant supply.
It is not lost on health officials there will always be a concern, as hospitals are a place of sickness. They reiterate though, this is the safest place to be, and of course the place to get the care you need. They hope by showing you the precautions, you’ll come in the next time you don’t feel 100 percent.
"It feels good to be able to care for our community again and know they feel comfortable coming to us," Tobin said.
When it comes to visiting a loved one, those hours remain limited from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. with the exception of maternity. Only one person is allowed at a time. Again, you must wear a mask.