ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — In recent days, states around the country, including Pennsylvania, are adding preventive measures in light of Coronavirus concerns. Now, folks in our area are working to figure out their “new normal” for everyday life.
For therapy patients, routine and repetition are important for their growth. At Encompass Rehabilitation Hospital in Altoona, their goal right now is to keep things as normal as possible while making sure their patients, staff and families stay safe and healthy.
Ryan Voughan is working with one of his physical therapy patients, a job that requires him to be hands-on.
“The power of healing with your hands is pretty cool, so we don’t want to stray away from that,” he said.
Since the Coronavirus outbreak, therapists like Voughan are stressing healthy hand-washing and reminding patients about the new visitor restriction at the hospital.
“We’re trying to assure them that they’re safe here, but we want to minimize visitors as much as possible to be able to keep things in check,” he said.
Occupational therapists are continuing to work closely with their patients but use stronger, bleach-based cleaner to make sure all surfaces are safe for each patient.
The hospital has a COVID-19 task force that talks everyday about where they are and what possible changes could be made if cases are confirmed in our region.
“They’re staying on top of things. our infection control nurse, Deb, is working really closely with everybody, making sure there isn’t mass panic, and it’s, on the inpatient side, business as usual,” Aaron Meintel, Director of Occupational Therapy, said.
There are hand-washing stations around the facility, and there is a visitor restriction right now. Only the primary caregiver for the patient is allowed inside at this time.