Local pharmacy takes precautions to prevent COVID-19 spread

Local News

ST. MARYS, Pa. (WTAJ)– St. Marys Pharmacy has new procedures in place at all their locations to do it’s part in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“In pharmacy, we’re like the infantry of healthcare, “one pharmacy owner, Frank Straub said. “We’re on the front lines every day.”

The first line of defense when entering the store are signs asking customers with coronavirus symptoms to not enter.

Then, the store has taped off the floor to mark proper social distancing while waiting in line.

If a customer’s prescription is not filled, or there is a line, the pharmacy now has a pager system so customers can sit in their cars and be alerted when it’s ready.

Over the weekend, plastic barriers between the customers and employees were installed in all the stores.

“I came up with this idea just to kind of limit the exposure to my staff and the patients coming in, Straub said. “This is a high density vinyl i just kind of MacGyver’d the thing, put it together on the fly.”

Employees will also sanitize the counters and keypads at the register between every customer.

Along with their regular prescription delivery service, the pharmacy started curbside pickup Monday.

“So the patients can just call a certain number when they get here and we’ll run their prescription right out to their car,” Director of Pharmacy Molly Bimel said.

To use curbside pickup, all customers have to do is park in one of the spots and call 814-781-1793.

As another precaution, the pharmacy has separated their staff into a “red” or “blue” team so employees do not have overlapping shifts.

Finally, with the impact COVID-19 is having on the medical supply chain, the pharmacy is doing the best they can to keep enough medicine in supply to meet demand.

“We do anticipate some difficulty, of course, during all of this, as everyone does, we’re hoping to stay ahead of it as we’ve done so far,” pharmacy manager Amy Warmbrodt said.

The pharmacy will continue to review their policies and update as needed.

“Things here are changing on a daily basis, sometimes on an hourly basis, our leadership team meets quite frequently and we decide what the best next steps are,” Bimel said.

The pharmacy has seen a surge in customers, so they’re asking anyone who needs something to call 24 hours ahead.

For more information, you can visit the St. Marys Pharmacy website here.

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