Coronavirus

Rehab clinics reopen with safety in mind

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WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — As Pennsylvania continues to flatten the curve, we are seeing more health services resume that have been on hold for the past two months.

Among them is outpatient physical rehabilitation medicine – but for a local health system, reopening its clinics required change. Like so many other changes we’ve witnessed because of the pandemic, new safety protocols are in place at Allied Services rehab clinic.

Before patients make their way to a physical therapist at this Allied Services rehab clinic, they must first undergo a brief health screening which includes having their temperature taken. Patients are also required to wear a mask and they can’t bring a visitor inside with them.

But what other safety measures are happening here and at Allied’s 12 other rehab clinics which recently re-opened?

“Among this community, that’s a question we get every day. ‘What safeguards do you have in place?'” said Tina McCarthy, RN – Executive Director, Allied Services Physician Relations & Marketing.

For starters, about 50 percent less equipment than before the pandemic. The reason? More patient space to enhance safe distancing from other patients.

Equipment is cleaned before and after each use. Once a patient uses any of the equipment they get one-on-one therapy to reduce interaction with others. Moriah Scarantino comes here several times a week to rehabilitate a leg injury, therapy that has been on hold for nearly two months.

“I feel comfortable being here, you know, so hopefully everyone else will soon feel that way,” said Scarantino.

The staff believes it’s important to get the word out about safety protocols so that rehab patients know what to expect.

“For their recovery phase, they will need a clinic or therapy services and feel confident that we are taking the measures that they are protected and having a successful recovery,” said McCarthy.

While 13 Allied Services rehab clinics have reopened, one in Mount Pocono and another in Berwick are now permanently closed. Three others, the Dickson City, Taylor and Kingston rehab clinics, remain temporarily closed and are being re-evaluated whether they should reopen.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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