TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Amidst the coronavirus global pandemic, hospitals across the state have been forced to reduce their services and staff due to lack of funding, as well as for the safety of their community.
However, now some hospitals are ready to reopen and begin providing all services, Cindy Samuelson, vice president of the Kansas Hospital Association, said on Thursday.
“They [Kansas hospitals] have done so much to prepare to see patients. Lots of different strategies have been put into place so that the community feels very safe going back to the hospital and not having a fear of getting an infection or getting COVID-19,” Samuelson said.
This comes exactly one week after Governor Laura Kelly announced her plan to reopen the state, which allows individual hospital practitioners to determine when they prefer to fully reopen their facilities.
Many Kansas hospitals are “safe, ready, and waiting” to reopen their facility to all services, Samuelson said.
Representatives from each individual hospital must speak with their local health department and other officials to determine when is the best time for them to reopen.
Once they have made the decision, however, the facility will not revert back to normal.
Hospitals will have to implement the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s guidelines, Samuelson said.
This includes social distancing, which may result in having patients wait in their cars for appointments in replacement of a waiting room. Additional changes could be implementing more handwashing stations and limited visitation.
Hospitals are also working to bring back staff who have been furloughed or experienced cut hours, Samuelson said.
It is important for Kansans to seek the care they need, Samuelson said, and encourages scheduling any appointments that may have been held off once their local hospital fully reopens.
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