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Ephraim McDowell Health gives glimpse of new normal as healthcare services return

Photo: WKYT/Phil Pendleton
Photo: WKYT/Phil Pendleton(WKYT)
Published: May. 7, 2020 at 11:17 AM EDT
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Kentucky hospitals have started the gradual process of restarting procedures postponed because of the pandemic.

Wednesday was the first day of the healthcare Phase 2 re-opening.

People can once again have outpatient procedures done at hospitals such as Ephraim McDowell Health in Danville, but it will look a lot different in facilities.

Ephraim McDowell will still screen everyone entering the facility and anyone having an outpatient surgery will have to get a COVID-19 test.

All facilities must have a 14-day supply of PPE and hospitals are told to preserve a 30% surge capacity.

Ephraim McDowell, like other Kentucky hospitals, did not see their facilities overrun with COVID-19 patients and only one person has been admitted to their ICU for the coronavirus. That person has been released.

Ephraim McDowell also had to place hundreds of their employees on furlough, and now some of them are coming back.

“As all industries have suffered certainly the hospital has suffered," says Dr. Ryan Turpen. "Surgeries are a large part of that. So being able to resume that safely with these precautions in place will be good for the hospital and trying to regain some of the economic impacts on us and all other industries.”

Ephraim McDowell Health is now testing asymptomatic people at their various locations in addition to those showing COVID-19 symptoms. Those locations are in Danville, Stanford, and Harrodsburg.

Health officials say inpatient, or Phase 3, healthcare re-openings are expected to resume on May 13.