Cone Health Resumes Full Services
Hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices see big changes in the wake of COVID-19.
Cone Health has returned to full service. This means it has resumed all office visits, operations, tests and procedures that were delayed on March 18 so that the health network could prepare for COVID-19. The return to full service is the result of a phased plan that began in mid-May.
“We want to thank the communities we serve and especially the patients who put off a knee replacement or a heart procedure while we prepared for COVID-19,” says Mary Jo Cagle, MD, chief operating officer, Cone Health. “We have adequate supplies of PPE, and COVID-19 cases remain manageable at our Green Valley hospital, our Covid-19 facility. We are confident we can provide the high-quality care with the high level of safety that Cone Health is known for.”
Safety is an important component of returning to full services. People seeking services at Cone Health will notice several changes. There are acrylic sheets between many employees and the public. Waiting areas have fewer chairs, enabling social distancing. Employees and patients must wear masks. Many caregivers also wear face shields. Employees are screened daily, and people are tested for COVID-19 before being admitted to one of our hospitals or undergoing a surgery.
“I get asked when life will return to normal. We remain in a pandemic, which we may be in for a while,” says Bruce Swords, MD, chief physician executive, Cone Health. “While this may be the new normal, Cone Health’s commitment to patient safety isn’t.” Swords emphasizes that should COVID-19 cases suddenly climb or testing supplies and personal protective equipment become harder to obtain, Cone Health will again reduce services.
People who have delayed appointments or put off a mammogram, colonoscopy, surgery or other medical care are urged to contact their doctor to reschedule. While services, tests and procedures have resumed, Cone Health’s visitor restriction policy remains in place due to the large number of COVID-19 cases still being seen in the area.
Cone Health continues asking people to wear masks in public to protect those at high risk from COVID-19 as well as themselves.